Did you see the news? Kaleida is losing money, and they are telling the media it’s your fault!
In recent articles in The Buffalo News and Buffalo Business Journal, in addition to coverage from local news channels, Kaleida is admitting the system is facing “financial challenges” due to a state and federal Medicaid shortfall. They blame a “stagnant market” in Western New York and the costs associated with your wages and benefits.
This raises some important questions. If our market is stagnant, why have Kaleida Health executive salaries and compensation gone up on average 116% since 2011? How does Jody Lomeo and his leadership team justify paying themselves more than double their starting salaries? Cost of living increases in Western New York?
Jody’s memo cites “$11 million in union salary increases from the master bargaining agreement” as a financial hardship. Do you know what else costs Kaleida Health nearly $11 million dollars per year? The compensation of the top 12 executives! In 2018, these executives received $10,747,370 in total compensation. Why is it okay for 12 people to make nearly $11 million dollars, but paying that same amount to all of the bedside caregivers throughout Kaleida Health is a financial hardship? In 2018, Jody Lomeo alone took home $2,481,869 in total compensation from Kaleida Health and its related organizations. That’s $47,728 a week, more than the average CMA makes in a year.
It’s true that NY state is likely cutting Medicaid reimbursement. However, these impending cuts have not been a secret and have been looming on the horizon for over a year. Jody and his leadership team will tell you that they “earn” their salaries to “make the tough decisions” and “steer the ship in troubled water.” Now that we’re in that troubled water, Jody is abandoning ship while we’re being forced to absorb all of Kaleida’s losses.
Kaleida doesn’t want you to think about this. Kaleida wants you to keep your head down and do your job until they decide they don’t need your position anymore. Kaleida management has brought multiple people to HR simply to intimidate them, a blatantly illegal act. CWA 1168 has filed Labor Board charges against Kaleida for every instance of intimidation over the past weeks related to the Feb 4th meeting, in addition to a request to the Labor Board to halt the termination of Mary Nowocien.
A petition listing the demands we brought to the Feb 4th meeting will be circulated in the coming days. Do not be afraid to stand up for your patients and your coworkers.