COVID-19 Kaleida Health Memorandum of Understanding

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CWA Local 1168 felt it was imperative to publish this Memorandum of Understanding immediately to our members. Monday we will put out and update explaining each section.


March 28, 2020

This Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) is entered into between Kaleida Health (“Employer”) and the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO (“CWA”), Service Employees International Union/1199 United Healthcare Workers East (“SEIU”), hereinafter referred to “Unions”.

WHEREAS, the Unions and Employer, among others, are signatories to a collective bargaining agreement dated June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2022 (“Master Agreement”), and

WHEREAS, under the terms of the Master Agreement, the Unions and the Employer have negotiated a Grievance Procedure (Article 7) which mandates certain time frames to process a grievance and other contractual meetings, and

WHEREAS,the Parties recognize that there exists a National, State, and County State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and

WHEREAS, the Employer and Unions need to focus all efforts and resources on providing a safe work environment for our members/employees and for the care and treatment of patients during this unprecedented situation, and

WHEREAS, it is understood by the Parties that there is uncertainty for how long the arrangements made in this MOU will need to be in place. The parties commit to remain in contact, have an open line of communication during this unprecedented circumstance and agree that this MOU will be revisited every thirty (30) days until the New York State, State of Emergency is ended.  The parties further commit that any changes in wages, hours and work conditions will be negotiated with the Unions. The Employer reserves the right to terminate this agreement upon written notice to the Unions.

NOW, THERFORE, the Employer and Union do hereby agree:

  1. Master Agreement Procedures:
  1. The parties are committed to comply with the existing contractual provisions subject to the terms of this MOU or as subsequently agreed to by the parties.
  • All pending grievances will be temporarily held in abeyance without prejudice to any party.
  • Contractual time limits for any new grievance will be temporarily waived, with the understanding that any particular issue of an urgent nature (i.e. discharge from employment or suspension) will be brought forward to the Employer and the parties will make arrangements to address that individual matter.
  • The Time & Attendance (Article 63) procedure will be temporarily suspended consistent with the intent and commitments made in this MOU. Specific instances of excessive T & A violations will be addressed with the respective Union consistent with the process in A (3) above.
  • Normally scheduled meetings (Step grievance meetings, Oversight, monthly mediation, job security, etc.) will be temporarily postponed. The parties agree that specific issues or concerns may be scheduled to be heard on a mutually agreeable arrangement.
  • Contractual Procedures:
  1. Floating Pay: Any employee required to float will receive the contractual differential of $2.00 per hour.
  • Scheduling Flexibility and Reassignment:   The Union acknowledges the severity of the Pandemic we are in the midst of.  Furthermore, the Union understands that flexibility will be needed in the assignment and floating of staff. This may include the need to discuss the rotation of staff and shifts, including the days of work, by seniority and competencies, to accommodate patient care needs.
  • Kaleida Health will survey their employees and determine if there are those who will volunteer to be assigned to a designated COVID-19 Unit if the need arises.
  1. The skills, ability and qualifications of the volunteers will be assessed and used in the assignment of these employees.
  2. The list of volunteers will be separated by job titles and listed in seniority order.
  • When the need for additional staffing on a COVID-19 designated unit arises, the staff will first be assigned from the volunteer list in seniority order.  If there are not enough volunteers, employees from the Supplemental Work Force, as referenced in D. below, will be assigned.
  • Employees can volunteer to work between Kaleida Health sites but will not be required to do so.
  • Premium Pay:  $10.00 per hour differential will take effect on the commencement of the pay period beginning on Sunday, March 29, 2020.


  1. All employees assigned to a designated COVID-19 Unit or cohorted section of a unit, will be eligible.  Employees in all job titles assigned to the Unit will be eligible. Should an employee request to opt off the unit for a certified medical reason, the employee will be reassigned. The employee will be replaced with a volunteer employee from another unit or from the resource pool at the respective site.
  • Any employee who during their regular assignment is required to care for a COVID-19 Unit patient, will be paid the premium pay for that assignment.
  • As the care for COVID-19 patients is assigned to additionally designated units employees in all job titles assigned to the Unit will be eligible.
  •   Employees in all job titles assigned to the Emergency Department will be eligible, including CT Techs and RNs working in association with the Emergency Department.
  • CLS and MT (or equivalent) who are currently assigned in COVID-19 testing processes, including viral inactivation, will be eligible for premium pay during this assignment. Should additional employees be needed for the COVID-19 testing process, they will be selected from a volunteer list based on competency and testing department. Once assigned, the employee will be eligible for the premium pay for the duration of the assignment.
  • Supplemental Work Force:  Kaleida Health is developing a supplemental workforce that can be utilized to supplement Kaleida Health personnel as staffing needs require.
  1. Assignments and redeployment will be assigned as needed throughout the system
  • The Supplemental Work Force will be hired into a Temporary Classification (external hires) and may be hired above Step 5.
  • Pay During Periods of Quarantine, Illness Related to COVID-19
  1.  Each employee who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of NY, the department of health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19, shall be provided up to fourteen days of paid leave during any mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation.  This paid sick leave will not be deducted from an employee’s Paid Time Off (PTO) or Extended Sick Bank (ESB).
  • Employee reports to work and through screening process is sent home, employee is directed to the Employee Hotline for further instruction. Any absences associated with this process will be covered under the paid leave period referenced above.
  • Employee calls in with symptoms, directed to the Employee Hotline for further instruction.  Any absences associated with this process will be covered under the paid leave period referenced above.
  • Employee exposed to known COVID positive, directed to Employee Hotline.

Asymptomatic – Tested but directed to come to work; if test is positive, start quarantine for minimum of 7 calendar days from start of quarantine, on 8th day you can return if you have been fever free for 72 hours without medication.

Symptomatic – Test scheduled and you are off work.

Positive – 1st missed day is start of quarantine. Minimum 7 calendar days from start of quarantine, on the 8th day you can return if you have been fever free for 72 hours without medication.

Negative – Off work until result. But if negative, return to work.

Any absences associated with process will be covered under the paid sick leave period referenced above.

Temporary Phone Number During COVID: (716) 948-1467


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