Rochester General Hospital (RGH) and the Rochester Union of Nurses & Allied Professionals (RUNAP) met yesterday for our 16th bargaining session since negotiations began in October of last year. Yesterday’s session began shortly after 10 AM and ended after 6 PM. During the session, a Federal Mediator was present to assist the parties in their negotiations.
During yesterday’s session, representatives from RGH and RUNAP met twice with the mediator present to discuss several of the open proposals and the financial implications of certain proposals. Later in the meeting, RGH presented two packages of proposals in an effort to try to avoid a strike and move towards an agreement. The first package included:
- Wages: RGH’s revised counterproposal offers two additional contract increases for years 4 and 5 of the proposed agreement, in addition to the increases already offered by RGH in its prior proposal. In total, the proposed increases would be 7.8% (on average) at ratification, 3% in year 2, 3% in year 3, 4% in year 4 and another 3% increase in year 5. Over the life of the contract, hourly RNs would receive an average increase to their base wages of over 20%.
- Holidays: RGH maintained most of the language from its proposal from April 11, but added Juneteenth as a new, additional holiday effective in 2026.
- Vacation: RGH presented a new counterproposal that included a revised and improved vacation accrual scale for employees with 15 to 24 years of service.
- The other proposals in this package included:
- Insurance Benefits – maintaining proposal from April 11
- Clinical Ladder – maintaining proposal from April 11
- Retirement Benefits – maintaining proposal from May 4
- Differentials – maintaining proposal from July 19
- Paid Sick Time – maintaining proposal from February 16
- Paid Leaves – maintaining proposal from February 16
- Unpaid Leaves – maintaining proposal from June 1
- Per Diem Program and Compensation – maintaining proposal from April 11
- Tuition/Inservice/Conferences – maintaining proposal from July 13
- Certifications – maintaining proposal from April 11
RGH’s second package included:
- Staffing: RGH presented a slightly revised counterproposal which updated the process outlined to resolve staffing disputes to be closer to RUNAP’s previous counterproposal.
- Temporary Reassignment (Floating): RGH’s counterproposal contains new language to address open issues related to where RNs can be floated and providing that procedural RNs cannot be floated outside of their procedural area.
- Attendance and Tardiness: RGH modified its last proposal to modify the definition of an unexcused absence.
- Low Census: RGH modified its last proposal to make clear that, since procedural nurses will not be floated, such nurses will be subject to normal unit processes for low census cancellation.
- Hours, Overtime, On-Call & Schedules: RGH modified its proposal to address shift rotation concerns raised by RUNAP. The proposal calls for committee discussions to explore and consider decreased shift rotation on the nursing units with a joint goal of eliminating shift rotation on at least 50% of the nursing units within one (1) year after agreement ratification.
The Parties also Discussed a package of non-economic proposals from the Union, including:
- Cancellation: RUNAP revised its prior proposal on this subject to address when a nurse can be “flexed” due to low census.
- Successorship: The union resubmitted its earlier proposal with contract language to address potential obligations in the event of a potential sale or merger of the Hospital.
- Classification of Employees: RUNAP revised its proposal that addresses the definition of full-time employees, regular part-time employees, and per diem employees. The proposal also addresses when a per diem employee has an option to convert to a benefitted position.
RGH and RUNAP are scheduled to meet for another bargaining session today. We will issue another update following the session to keep you informed. You can sign up to receive email or text alerts when a new bargaining update is posted to the website and also submit any questions. Please visit www.RGHNursesMatter.org for more information.