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April 22 - Kaleida Proposes Concessions, But No Staffing Improvements So Far

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Kaleida has started giving proposals to the unions — regarding time & attendance, the grievance procedure, job bidding & transfers, and PTO as it relates to use of personal days. So far none of Kaleida’s proposals will bring in and keep staff! 1199SEIU’s Jim Scordato summarized their proposals like this: “They’re trying everything they can to get us out of the building, whether it’s by termination, floating or flexing. Our concern right now, is how do we get people in.”

In order to bring the contract in line with the New York State Paid Sick Leave law, Kaleida wants to give all employees 56 hours of paid sick time. For 8-hour shift employees, this would mean no disciplinary action until after a seventh call-in, but for extended shifts it would translate to discipline after 4.5 to 5.9 missed days — a reduction in call-ins. Labor will not agree to this, especially after Kaleida CEO Bob Nesselbush promised on day one of bargaining that they would not seek to cut benefits! This proposal cuts our benefits – and that’s a concession!

Asking to reduce the number of call-ins for many employees will cause problems. Not only will the change confuse people, but the 56 hours of paid sick time doesn’t line up with a full extended shift and will trigger the next level of discipline at the point in the shift that the time runs out. The unions worry that we’ll see a spike in disciplines.

This brings us to Kaleida’s other proposal for time & attendance, which would do away with pro-rating additional PTUs once a member is in discipline. However, for tardy, it would create a rolling 12-month period in which to discipline staff. Either way, progressive discipline remains. The unions will discuss our next steps.

Holidays were one area the unions felt needed review. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been a federal holiday since 2000, and Juneteenth since 2021. 1199SEIU and CWA feel strongly that members should be able to observe these as major holidays, and made a proposal that staff be able to request PTO as such.   Kaleida did give us a letter of intent about how much they value diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We discussed flex positions. The unions are trying to reduce the number of flex positions since Kaleida rarely uses the flex capability — and limit them to 5 percent of each bargaining unit. Kaleida’s counterproposal would expand flex positions and keep the ability to cut workers’ hours. We will be resubmitting our proposal. Kaleida admits they’ve inappropriately used flex positions where they do exist, and have maintained higher concentrations of flex employees in areas they aren’t needed. Kaleida has acknowledged our open arbitration regarding use of flex positions, but is ignoring the remedy the unions requested.

Kaleida also proposed a change to the job bid & transfer process, extending the window for internal bids but closing the 21-day late bid time frame before the position goes external. CWA and 1199SEIU will discuss in caucus how to proceed.

Our contract expires in 39 days! Get involved in the campaign now by contacting your union!