Kaleida Negotiations Update #6 – Leading with Finance, Safety, Bio-Med Bargaining, and RT Win in LTC

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Kaleida Still Leading with Finance

In the December 31, 2021 issue of Business First, Kaleida’s CEO boasted about “the companies ability to reduce the pandemic related deficit from $108 million to under $20 million”. You read that correctly, Kaleida Health was able to make up $88 million dollars in 2021. Let’s take a recap on how this money was saved. Millions were saved at the onset of the pandemic  stemming from delays in purchasing PPE. Remember the months that we were told; “don’t throw our N95s away after working with COVID patients and place them in a paper bag for reuse?” How much money was saved when the hazard pay for “Health Care Heroes” was cut? How much money was saved with the cuts in ancillary staff? Cuts that were sold to us as an “empowerment of nursing’.” But by far, the biggest savings was no doubt on the backs of our members. Millions saved from the depletion of an already bare bones staffing structure. The bravado of this administration’s view in the column is beyond insulting. 

November 2019 – Kaleida Cuts CMA Positions

January 2020 – First Documented US COVID 19 Case

Marcy 2020 – PPE “shortages” start

July 2020 – Ancillary Cuts

Entirety of 2021 – Astronomical Member to Patient Ratios & Mass Staff Exodus

December 2021 – Kaleida Reports a Reduction of Deficit by 88 Million

However, we also had numerous large expenditures that we could question were they needed right now:

– 4D CT Scanner – $2.55 million dollars – but unwilling to staff appropriately, and Kaleida refused to hire

– CNO Dianne’s Office Remodel – $?.?? – It’s an open door policy but locked with a keypad

– ~100 travelers @ 800K / week – this is only a snapshot of right now at BGH

– $?.?? – Useless Teletracking boards


 Safety and personal security concerns have been increasing in recent weeks. It is important to report issues, altercations, or incidents of workplace violence to management and file a STARS report. The STARS reports assist the Union in addressing concerns during the workplace violence committee meetings. It is important that we have staff perception as oftentimes there are differences between staff, management, and securities’ perceptions. We also ask that you call the union office and inform us of any workplace violence issues that aren’t addressed. Members can either speak with a steward or speak directly to Denise Abbott, our Director of Health and Safety. 

BioMed Bargaining Delays

After 40 bargaining sessions our 29 union brothers and sisters from BioMed are still without a contract. In early 2020 BioMed petitioned to become part of our Union and started their contract talks. Seventeen months later their bargaining is still ongoing. Bargaining unit work, job security, retirement, medical and prescription benefits, salaries, and pay-scales all remain unfinished. Is this a precursor to what 8500 union members can expect as we bargaining the master agreement? 

Respiratory Therapy At Highpointe

Highpointe LTC has also had difficulties with staffing Respiratory Therapy positions. Respiratory Therapists are some of the hardest to hire due to the disparity in pay scales. Since 2020, an 81% turnover rate has limited the amount of care patients receive. Often times the entire building is left without a Respiratory Therapist (this includes ventilated children.) Historically. Highpointe has operated on the L'” scale, a lower pay-rate for staff that provides the same job duties. Recently, a request by the Union to move the RT’s to the hospital based pay scale was accepted by Kaleida. The Union has always wanted to remove this disparaging scale. Kaleida was unwilling to negotiate these points during the last contact negotiations. As of 1/2/2021, the RT’s at Highpointe have now been assimilated into the hospital based pay scale. Hopefully this will result in increased staffing for RT’s at Highpointe. All current openings are posted internally.

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