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Federal mediator joins talks on forming union

By WILL ASTOR - 2/11/2014 4:11:15 PM

A federal mediator has joined talks between workers looking to unionize Unity Health System’s Unity Living Center, Service Employee International Union officials said Monday.

Workers hoping to form an 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East unit of at the 120-bed St. Mary’s Campus skilled nursing facility have been in talks with health system officials over a first contract since Oct. 1 and have met 11 times in full-day sessions since then, union officials said. 

If the health system and SEIU workers ink a contract, Unity Living Center certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, therapy aides and secretaries could join the union.

The SEIU’s Upstate New York health care unit represents similar workers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Anthony L. Jordan Health Center and six area nursing homes.

The Unity Living Center talks come as Unity and Rochester General Health System are pursuing a merger. Unity and RGHS have submitted plans to federal and state regulators. Officials of both health systems expect the merger to be completed later this year.
    
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