A strike was averted after an intense negotiating session yielded a tentative pact between UR and negotiators for UR’s two largest service workers’ unions Tuesday night.

“We reached a tentative agreement with the union [Tuesday] night,” spokeswoman for UR’s negotiators and UR Medical Center Director of Public Relations and Communications Teri D’Agostino said. “The plan is for the union membership to vote on the agreement [today]. I can’t discuss any specifics until that happens.”

Workers have been without a contract since Oct. 1. SEIU members were scheduled to take a strike-authorization vote on Wednesday.

“The parties were assisted by Federal Mediator Kenneth Armes,” SEIU Local 1199 Vice President Bruce Popper said. Popper serves as chief negotiator for both SEIU Local 200 United and SEIU Local 1199.

“The strike vote scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled.”

The Community March for Jobs, Justice and Health care, sponsored by the SEIU and a Student-Worker Solidarity Day, sponsored by Students for Social Justice, both scheduled for Saturday, have been postponed.

UR employs roughly 1,200 SEIU members.

About 200 River Campus service workers are members of Local 200United, primarily personnel in food and building service positions. The Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital have about 1,000 employees belonging to Local 1199 in patient care, surgical support, patient transport, supply and distribution, housekeeping and other service positions.

Both parties agreed not to comment on terms of the agreement until after Thursday’s ratification vote, although points of contention were previously stated to be wages and health care benefits.

Bruml can be reached at abruml@campustimes.org.

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