December 1, 2020
We are experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 in many of our local hospitals and Long-Term Care facilities and it has been difficult for many healthcare workers. We have an increased exposure to COVID-19 and there are issues with management properly tracing and tracking positive cases. Not only are we dealing with staff burnout, many of our members are testing positive for COVID and dealing with it firsthand. Your dedication throughout the pandemic and support you provide to one another does not go unnoticed. Your health and well-being is our top priority!
The unions were made aware of multiple issues directly impacting members who are providing care to COVID patients during this pandemic. On November 14, 2020, CWA 1168 and 1199SEIU signed and sent Kaleida Health a demand to bargain over terms and conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the notice, the unions met with Kaleida on November 18th and November 25th to address member concerns around the pandemic: cuts to staffing, health and safety, PPE, uninterrupted breaks, and COVID pay. These cuts to staffing will require most staff to provide care for an increased number of patients. This is unacceptable. Kaleida’s made it clear in their opening statement that they were NOT willing to bargain over these issues but would follow the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Union leaders demanded that Kaleida provide concrete answers from decision makers and that they be present for any future meeting.
On November 25th, Kaleida’s site Presidents and CNO’s participated in a call to review what they have accomplished so far. Management discussed the changing nature of the pandemic and their surge plan. Although bonuses were implemented in some areas, most COVID-19 issues remain unresolved!
We are working very hard to provide care to our patients and Kaleida’s response is unacceptable! We want our concerns heard! We want to know that our employer is willing to bargain over our needs due to changing work conditions. We are all fighting this pandemic together and Kaleida must do better!
Frontline heroes deserve a safe work environment, readily available PPE, and the tools they need to provide quality care to our patients at their bedside, especially at a time when family are not allowed visitation.
We will demand to bargain on our member’s behalf. In the coming week, the unions want to hear from you—the frontline! We want to know what’s most important to you while dealing with COVID-19. Please fill out this survey and share it with your coworkers:
https://bit.ly/COVIDMOUSurvey – must be completed by Wednesday, December 9th.
Once we have gathered feedback from membership, we will present a proposal to request that Kaleida bargain contract language due to the impact of COVID-19.