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UR Medicine home care workers vote to unionize: What does it mean?

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  • Staff Report 

In a move reflecting a growing national trend, University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) employees have overwhelmingly chosen to join a labor union, aligning themselves with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union in the country. This decision marks a significant step for about 115 URMHC workers across several counties, aiming to improve conditions in the home care sector.

Workers at URMHC, including those in various professional roles from physical therapy assistants to registered nurses, expressed a desire for a stronger voice in their workplace. By forming a union, they seek to address challenges such as fluctuating reimbursement rates and increasing job demands, while enhancing patient care and achieving a better work-life balance. Their unionization effort underscores a commitment to both patient welfare and professional dignity in the healthcare industry.

The move to unionize by URMHC workers comes amid a broader wave of unionization efforts within the healthcare sector in Rochester and across New York State. Following a significant strike at the University of Rochester Medical Center last year, more healthcare workers, including over 1,600 home health aides and personal care attendants, have opted to join 1199SEIU, signaling a growing trend towards unionization in the healthcare field. This effort highlights the collective push for improved working conditions, better patient outcomes, and a respected voice for healthcare professionals.