Bargaining started off a bit differently this week as we had to make a change of location!
We learned early on Tuesday, March 29 that the 1199SEIU offices would no longer be available for contract negotiations. A structural emergency at the Local made it unsafe for us to meet there. So effective March 30 and for at least the next month we will be meeting in the Swift Auditorium at the Buffalo General Medical Center. So, Wednesday was a transition day as we moved our belongings from one location to the other and set up the bargaining room.
Thursday we moved into full scale negotiations as we received a number of counter proposals from the Kaleida Health bargaining committee in response to the non-economic package of proposals that the Union made on March 17, including:
- Article 3 Recognition
- Article 4 Non-Discrimination
- Article 9 Categories of Employees
- Article 59 Scrub Apparel
- Article 73 Health and Safety
- Article 108 Workplace Violence
- Article 15 Hours of Work and Work Schedules
- Article 16 Weekend Work
- Article 27 Paid Time Off Scheduling
- Article 80 School Health Services Employees
- MOU #5 Holidays in the Operating Room at OCH for the RN and Technical
- MOU #10 Rotating Positions
So, we have some work to do in getting our responses ready.
The Kaleida Health bargaining committee also rejected a number of our proposals including:
- Article 69 Employer Policies
- Article 70 No Strike – No Lockout
- MOU #11 Drop and Add Relative to FTE
- MOU #28 BGMC Self Staffed Closed Units
- MOU #45 Business Office Clerical Overtime At Larkin
- New MOU Uniforms for Couriers
Regardless of the Article we are discussing with Kaleida, the discussion seems to come back to staffing. It doesn’t matter what job title you have or what department you work in, having enough staff to provide high quality patient care is a problem. We are committed to negotiating a contract that deals with these staffing issues.
We also signed off on three more tentative agreements (TA). This brings the total number of tentatively agreed upon articles to 32. While most of these TAs were clean up language, they are the important first steps we take when bargaining.
Due to the change in location, we canceled open bargaining for this week. We will have much more limited seating at the BGMC location due to the size of the room, so check your sign up link for some additional information.
By now, you should have received a link from your union to complete the online staffing survey. Surveys are due by Thursday, April 14. These surveys will provide the bargaining committee with critical information on working conditions and staffing issues in your area. To access, open your cell phone camera and point it at your union’s QR code.