Kaleida Health Bargaining Update #1 – 1/10/19

DATE: January 10, 2019

TO: All CWA and SEIU Members at Kaleida Health

FROM: Your Union Representatives

RE: Bargaining Update

The Master Collective Bargaining Agreement expires May 31, 2019.

CWA and SEIU leadership and bargaining committees began meeting in the fall to prepare for bargaining.

Bargaining committee members have been elected, engaged, and actively preparing for contract negotiations. Caucus has involved reviewing language, prior grievances, and surveys (those returned to date) in an effort to begin formulating proposals and strategies for bargaining. We will be well prepared for what may be very difficult and contentious negotiations.

Bargaining surveys are out. Please complete and return them by January 18, 2019. It is important that your voice is heard! We rely on your surveys to prioritize issues when creating proposals as well as to responding to management.

Management has hired Randy Odza, outside counsel from the law firm of Bond, Shoeneck, and King, to be their chief negotiator for 2019 contract negotiations. We believe the law firm does have anti-union roots as they appeared in an article from The New York Times entitled “Law Firms Called Anti-Union” from October 23, 1986 (www.nytimes.com/19…/…/23/us/law-firms-called-anti-union.html). More recently, a letter to the editor from the Ithacan in 2015 accounts the anti-union practices carried out by Bond, Shoeneck, and King when Ithaca College’s part-time faculty was organizing their new union. (www. theithacan.org/…/letter-to-the-editor-on-the-administration…)

Kaleida Health Management indicated Mr. Odza’s experience with our contract as good reason to have him working on management’s team. Yet, the Unions have had little experience in dealing with Mr. Odza with the exception of a few arbitration proceedings in recent years.

Contract negotiations are always difficult and lengthy due to the bulk and intricacies of language. However, we are confident with the negotiating experience of the Union teams. We have long standing historical experience with our contract.

Please recognize our collective power in numbers. These numbers consist of over 7,500 Union Members who work at Kaleida Health.

Let us, the collective front line workers, remind the few members of management who still remain at Kaleida Health of the battles fought and won in 2011 and 2013. These battles included the 4,000 member rally that was held at BGMC and shut down Ellicott Street for a fair contract in 2011 and a 97% “YES” strike vote In 2013.

We will keep you posted throughout the bargaining process with updates.

In Solidarity!


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Kaleida Negotiations 2019
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Our goal is to make our work life better. Collective bargaining has changed significantly over the past several years as new attacks meant to weaken Unions have been brought forward. Kaleida’s new HR Team as well has begun to challenge language that has been in our contract for decades. It has created problems for many of our members. As we enter into 2019 contract negotiations we will need to re-examine our approach and our priorities so that we can win a Fair Contract for ALL!

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