There are two Tentative Agreements to report this week. We are maintaining current contract language for the OCH RN STAT Team and Neonatal Transport Nurse (MOU 19 and 20).
Most of what CWA and 1199SEIU have talked about in bargaining since Tuesday comes down to economics, either directly or indirectly. Many of our remaining items are intertwined – hiring and retaining staff, pay scales, insurance, and retirement all play off one another. Getting all of our worksites appropriately staffed costs money, so does floating, the same goes for recruiting new hires and making staff want to stay. Both unions continue to weigh how we can fight for these things happen while still maintaining our wages and benefits.
Department ratios: CWA and 1199SEIU have spent a lot of time this week discussing what staffing ratios are necessary that have not already been addressed in Clinical Staffing Committees – such as how many environmental or dietary workers, Respiratory Therapists and Social Workers each department needs. Some departments still need their staffing requests finalized before we are ready to present proposals to Kaleida.
Floating: We are fine-tuning what we will present to Kaleida, including discussions to change the floating language so that members who pick up overtime/extra time may choose between downsizing or floating.
Covering staffing holes: Because every site at Kaleida is short staffed and members are getting burned out on overtime/extra time, bargaining has involved many talks about how to accomplish the work. Both unions and Kaleida are discussing ideas about creating job-sharing language to split full-time positions between two members; and brainstorming what short-shift hiring might look like, such as four-hour shifts to cover breaks and lunches. There are no proposals about either of these, just both sides of the table asking questions about how the ideas might be put into practice.
Recruitment and Retention: We plan to discuss recruitment plans, since bringing in new members and keeping them continues to be an issue Kaleida-wide. 1199SEIU and CWA are also discussing language about retention of existing staff. Our patients deserve proper staffing just as we do, and it’s our responsibility as the bargaining committee to negotiate the best contract we possibly can so that we all benefit in the long run.
As we move into the meat and potatoes of the contract, we’d like to welcome you to an upcoming open bargaining session at 1199SEIU’s headquarters, 2421 Main Street, Buffalo. Sign up through your union!