This week at bargaining, CWA and 1199SEIU have started discussing our positions on some of our economic issues: staffing, dental insurance, hospital discounts, and parking. We have not made any economic proposals to Kaleida. The unions must reach agreement on what we will demand for our members.
Overtime: Discussions continue on Overtime (Article 25), particularly for long term care, procedure and perioperative areas where a lack of scheduled relief staff often means that members cannot leave at the end of their shift. This results in mandatory overtime, which violates New York State law and our contract for most job titles. Both unions have filed (and in many cases won) grievances after members were forced to work past the end of their shift, and Kaleida acknowledges the abuse but nothing changes. Kaleida agrees that this is a hiring and staffing problem at its core. We will keep demanding better for our members.
Preceptor and Training Programs: Labor is demanding that Kaleida address shortfalls in the supply of willing, trained preceptors/trainers for new staff (Articles 46 & 47). Often, there isn’t sufficient staffing for people to attend the courses once they sign up. Inconsistent and too-short precepting/training periods for new staff are one of the reasons people leave Kaleida. Hospital administration has promised to create ones that are specific to long term care thanks to union demands.
Lockers and lounges: Lack of lockers and lounge areas is a sore spot for many members (Article 61). Labor continues to demand appropriate spaces to store our belongings and take breaks away from patient care areas. Kaleida has identified a few locations with lockers that could be made available to EVS and dietary staff, and is working to carve out lounge and locker areas for some BGMC and OCH departments. We plan to discuss lounge and locker areas for EVS and dietary at MFSH soon.
Advanced Practice Providers: CWA and 1199SEIU met this week with Kaleida to discuss contractual protections for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants (MOU #47). New York State law does not require a collaborating physician for Nurse Practitioners with 3,600 hours of experience, but Kaleida insists on keeping these agreements. Some APPs have been pushed out of their positions after their collaborating Physician withdrew the agreement, leaving them unable to practice at Kaleida. This will be a weekly committee to keep fighting for these providers’ rights.
In the meantime, we have reached Tentative Agreements on a few articles – one has a few changes, the rest will stay unchanged from the current contract.
- For per diem positions (Article 12), applicants now must have nine continuous months of comparable work experience within two years. We hope that members who leave Kaleida may return more easily. At DeGraff Medical Park, up to 20 percent of TCCS and Professional positions may be filled by per diems. On-call is now optional for per diem members who work in departments that require it.
- We have agreed to keep present contract language for Probationary Period (Article 8); Travel (Article 48); Merger, Consolidation, Transfer or Establishment of Work within Kaleida Sites (Article 55); Staffing and Productivity Committee (Article 76); Multi-Site On-Call Procedure (Article 81); Temporary Positions (Article 100); ECMO Specialists at OCH (MOU #21); and Quarterly Job Review Committee (MOU #44).
As we approach discussions on economics, we want YOU to attend an open bargaining session! Bargaining continues 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 1199SEIU, 2421 Main St., Buffalo. Sign up through your union!
CWA can sign up for open bargaining HERE