Bargaining Update 4/8/2022
This week, we continued bargaining on Wednesday and Thursday. Though progress has been slower than past contract negotiations, proposals have been exchanged and we had significant dialogue on them. Most of the feedback shared based on Kaleida Health’s proposals were centered around how they would be harmful for our members. In these unprecedented times, we firmly believe that Kaleida must continue to recruit and retain workers to help our staffing crisis.
Proposals that were presented to the unions over the last two days include:
· Article 11 – Flexible Employees: The unions made a proposal to limit the number of flex employees per department based on if the department has 10 or more or less than 10 employees. Kaleida counter proposed to limit the number of flex employees per department, but allow them to have a designated amount per shift and title. This proposal would allow them to expand their use of flex employees building wide. Kaleida also proposed to remove the 7.5% maximum number of flex employees per bargaining unit.
· Article 14 – Weekend Employees: Kaleida Health proposed to add a section that would allow for up to 13 hour shifts to work Fridays – Sundays. These employees would have full time benefits. The union is reviewing this proposal before we officially respond to Kaleida Health.
· Article 19 – Floating & Article 91 Float Pool Employees: Primarily at Buffalo General, Kaleida Health is proposing to revamp the entire float pool and floating categories. Their proposal outlined 4 different and smaller float pools inside the float pool itself. This would limit the number of units that RNs would be forced to be knowledgeable in to cover. Kaleida’s presentation was extensive and included a lot of information. The bargaining committee will focus on clarifying and laying out the information we received in a more understandable manner. Additionally, it was proposed to not force those who pick up extra or overtime to float. It will take our committee more time to fully understand the extent of Kaleida’s proposal since it covers all sites and nursing specialties.
· Article 94 – Extended Shifts: Kaleida has proposed a change to section 4 of this article. Kaleida proposed to have the ability to change shift length in instances of attrition, vacancies, creation of new positions, and mutual consent of the employee, union, and the employer. This proposal is harmful for staff as there would no longer be a guarantee to maintain their extended shifts. Our members at Kaleida rely on steady and reliable schedules for peace of mind in an effort to achieve a work life balance .As mobilizers and bargaining committee members have been rounding, they have encountered many questions regarding proposals on benefits, wages, paid time off, etc. The bargaining committee does not begin to make proposals on economic issues until after most non-economic issues are resolved. The work on non-economic issues will continue for a few more weeks before we begin to discuss economic proposals. We will make sure to include our progress in our updates and weekly Facebook live sessions when the work on economics starts. Open bargaining has moved to Swift Auditorium at Buffalo General. Please sign up for any of the ten open spots to come in and observe. We still have two time slots every Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00am – 12:30pm and 12:30pm-4:30pm. Please check your union’s website or Facebook page for ways to sign-up.