Why Extend the Contract?
Recently there have been many questions regarding why our contract was extended.
Our contract was set to expire on May 31st, 2022 but the bargaining teams from CWA and SEIU have come to an agreement with Kaleida to extend our contract by one month with the new expiration date set for June 30th, 2022. Historically, extensions are common; extensions preserve the current contract language before a new contract can be ratified. This year is similar, but why? Why should we extend?
Currently, bargaining is slowly progressing. There are numerous articles remaining that labor and management need to bargain. Additionally, the economics and staffing portions of bargaining have only just begun.
If a contract is allowed to lapse, there are certain protections employees may lose out on. The current contract’s language would be followed, however the right to arbitration would no longer be available. Conversely, if a strike were necessary, a contract expiration would be required. Ultimately, the extension is necessary to continue to offer contractual protections to our members while continuing to bargain in good faith with Kaleida. With so many areas left to cover it would be unwise to let a contract lapse if negotiations will take additional time. As of the date of this publication it is unknown if another extension will be necessary.
Who can Strike?
Another frequent question is regarding “who” or “which” facilities can go on strike?
There may be some confusion since Catholic Health only had South Buffalo Mercy on strike while the rest of their facilities (Kenmore Mercy, and St. Joe’s) were able to continue to work. This is how their contract was set up: to obtain the bargaining strength of three united hospitals under one master agreement, they limited their striking capabilities to one hospital.
OUR contract is the opposite: as part of our Master Bargaining Agreement ALL employees covered are allowed to strike SHOULD the majority of members vote to do so. We already have the strength and the ability to strike included in our master agreement. Should this vote occur, ultimately the bargaining teams formulate a plan delineating which facilities walk out / picket / strike and withhold our most important bargaining power: our labor.
No Lunch – Reminder
Remember: your lunch break is mandated by federal law. Your lunch is defined as a 30 minute uninterrupted break mid way in your shift. (Contract page 51) If you don’t get lunch: notify your direct supervisor / manager and clock out no-lunch! Remember to fill out an exception log. If you don’t have proper and safe relief for lunch you should follow procedures for no-lunch. If you receive push back, please let the Union know!
June 5th was the Pride parade in Buffalo and CWA was present; marching as members and as allies to human rights. Flyers were distributed to our community and received welcoming and encouraging responses in support for our contract bargaining.
June 17th CWA was at the Taste of Country to hand out flyers to concert goers informing on the bargaining of our contract. The next day June 18th celebrated the Juneteenth Parade and CWA distributed flyers here as well! We were met with enthusiasm and support by our community and welcome the opportunity to inform them about our contract fight.
Old Home Days
Island Park 5565 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221 for more info contact Ann: 716.867.9552 | firstname.lastname@example.org
July 12-15, 2022
“Little Italy” Hertel Avenue Williamsville, NY 14221 for more info contact Ann: 716.867.9552 | email@example.com
July 15-17, 2022
When We Fight, We WiN!
BGH OR finally offered incentive, thanks to CWA! Since March 2021, BGH OR night shift has been short staffed. For months CWA has been pressing for answers for a plan to cover open shifts in BGH OR and asking for bonus and incentive to be offered to staff was only granted a few times. Since March, staff has been picking up the extra holes and in doing so have reported increased burn out. It became so bad that there were many night shifts with only an on-call RN as coverage, which is extremely unsafe for patient care. Last week, Kaleida met with CWA Area Vice Presidents to review the staffing holes and finally agreed to offer incentive to BGH OR!