CWA 1168 represents approximately 3,700 members at Kaleida Health, St. Joes Hospital, Absolut of Gasport, Millard Fillmore Surgery Center, and Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. Local 1168 is part of a larger national union representing more than 300,000 workers throughout the United States!
We, the workers of Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center (OPVMC), are fighting for safe staffing for our animals, quality care, respect, and a voice on the job. A petition has been filed and details on our secret ballot Union election will be coming to OPV workers soon.
We have filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a Union election! Details on dates and how to cast your vote coming soon.
Why Join a Union?
Better Pay and Benefits: With a union, we have the right and the ability to negotiate for the pay and benefits we deserve – and we’ll have the power of a 300,000-strong national union standing with us!
A Voice in Our Workplace: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever before that health and safety on the job are essential. We’ve dealt with inadequate supplies and lack of proper PPE that makes it harder – and more dangerous – to do our jobs and care for our patients. By standing together, we can negotiate to raise workplace standards.
Safe Staffing: It’s hard to go into work every day knowing that we don’t have the staff to give our patients the best care possible. We’re fighting for contractual staffing ratios that allow us to care for our animals, and competitive wages and working conditions so we can retain good staff.
Our Union Rights – It’s the Law!
The National Labor Relations Act gives us the right to form and join a union in our workplace. From the National Labor Relations Board: “Federal law gives you the right to form, join, or assist a union; choose representatives to bargain with your employer on your behalf; act together with other employees for your benefit and protection; and choose not to engage in any of these protect activities”.
In organizing and forming our union, our rights include
- The right to organize a union to negotiate with our employer over our terms and conditions of employment
- The right to distribute union literature, and to wear union buttons or t-shirts
- The right to discuss the union with one another
- The right to discuss signing union authorization cards with one another
Supervisors cannot spy on us, coercively question us, threaten us, or bribe us about our union activity. They cannot fire, discipline, demote, or penalize us for engaging in these activities.
If you feel you are being threatened, coerced, or harassed regarding your union participation, please reach out to a OPV Committee Member ASAP!
Employers generally all use the same playbook to stop workplace organizing drives. One of the most commonly used tactics is the “Captive Audience Meeting” – meetings in which the boss requires employees to sit in a meeting and listen to anti-union rhetoric. Fun fact – Captive Audience Meetings are currently legal in almost every state, but CWA is fighting to change that! In Connecticut, CWA Local 1298 helped pass a law this year making it illegal for employers to force workers to participate in anti-union meetings. We’re working to pass the same law in New York. But in the meantime, check out this Anti-Union Bingo card, courtesy of The News Guild-CWA, and if you’re forced to sit through a meeting about the union with the boss, see how many you get!