A charge was filed Sept. 13 alleging the UR Medical Center committed three violations of the National Labor Relations Act, which protects workers’ rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

According to the National Labor Relations Board charge obtained by the Campus Times Friday via a Freedom of Information Act request, URMC is being accused of discharging an employee because the employee “engaged in protected concerted activities by, inter alia, discussing wages and/or other terms and conditions of employment” and in order to “discourage employees from engaging in protected concerted activities.” 

The filer also alleged that URMC discharged that employee for “protesting terms and conditions of employment,” and that URMC allegedly “has interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of rights protected by Section 7 of the [National Labor Relations] Act by maintaining work rules that prohibit employees from discussing wages, hours, or other terms or conditions of employment.”

Because the charge was filed by an individual and not a union, the filer and allegedly discharged employee’s names were redacted from the FOIA release, so the Campus Times was unable to reach out to a representative of the filer for comment or contact information.

The University, however, did release a statement after accurately pointing out that they were not notified of the charge because the NLRB sent the notice letter to the wrong address.

“We value the rights of all of our University employees,” UR’s statement said. “Upon receiving your inquiry and looking into it today, we have concluded that this charge has not been received by the University, but we will be contacting the NLRB for more information.”

News of the filing comes amid other labor challenges taking place at the University, as skilled trade workers organized with Local 158 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and employed by UR and URMC have agreed to strike if the two parties do not reach a deal by the morning of Oct. 24. Negotiations have been ongoing since June and one deal was rejected by the union after a September vote, according to reporting by WHEC.

“The last thing these employees want is to go on strike, but they have made their position very clear,” said Local 158 Business Manager Mike Lyons to WHEC. “These employees are united in their willingness to take a stand, and Local 158 stands behind them one hundred percent.”

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