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April 28 - Unions Make It Clear that Workplace Violence Will Not Be Tolerated

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We have two non-bargaining updates this week. First, the bargaining committee is leaving Buffalo General’s Swift Auditorium and moving back to 1199SEIU’s headquarters. If you’re interested in attending open bargaining, please make plans for transportation to 2421 Main Street in Buffalo (near the Tri-Main Building). Second, our contract is set to expire soon and we are still bargaining!

On May 31st, when our Collective Bargaining Agreement expires, all current contract provisions remain in effect. You will still have union representation, and we hold to all procedures established in our contract – except that we cannot arbitrate any grievances until a new contract is in place.

Here are the updates from bargaining this week.

Flex Employees: Kaleida Health is sticking to their intention to increase the number of flex positions. The unions continue to demand that Kaleida reduce the number of flex positions because it can impact your guaranteed work week and paycheck.

Temporary Down-Sizing: In departments that use temporary downsizing to address low patient volume – say, when the manager calls a day shift member at 5 a.m. to say they’re not needed until 11 a.m., and do they want to stay home – the unions are asking for these employees to be paid on-call pay because this practice effectively places them on call. Be aware that on-call pay is paid out at 25% of straight pay, so staying home until 11 a.m. would mean one hour of pay instead of four hours of pay. Our intent is for this to protect our guaranteed workweek.

New York State Paid Sick Leave Law: Probationary employees in their first 90 days should be able to accrue PTO in case they become sick during this time. We see this as protecting staff from time and attendance disciplines when they stay home while sick, which also protects staff, patients, and visitors.

PTO: We are discussing end-of-year PTO buyout and rollover. Right now, anyone who wants to carry over unused time must send paperwork to Kaleida to alert them of the decision. Currently, this must be done by December 31st. We are discussing that it be changed to happen by the last day of the payroll year, which would be mid-December.

Workplace Violence: CWA and 1199SEIU are pushing for workplace violence language to be strengthened. We believe that Kaleida should be held more accountable to enforce its own policies and procedures. Kaleida must provide security in more areas such as outlying clinics, and must address the rise in verbal and physical abuse our members have endured from patients and visitors. Kaleida has misunderstood our intention. We must protect healthcare workers and keep them safe in the workplace. We will continue to make our point clear to Kaleida management that workplace violence will not be tolerated!