CHANGES IN KALEIDA LEADERSHIP
Lots of movement this week at bargaining: CWA and 1199SEIU learned of Kaleida CEO Bob Nesselbush’s retirement and replacement by Don Boyd (formerly the president and COO), there were changes in a few contract articles, dozens of fantastic job upgrade presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we are still waiting for Kaleida to get back to us about our wage and staffing proposals.
Kaleida leadership change: Up until Tuesday’s surprise announcement of Nesselbush’s departure, Boyd was at the bargaining table daily. Also leaving bargaining is Dianne Charsha, Kaleida’s CNO. In their stead, BGH/GVI President Cheryl Klass and Oishei President Allegra Jaros will now join Kaleida’s bargaining committee. The shake-up is highly unusual during contract bargaining.
Tentative agreement: There is a new Letter of Intent on a Healthy Work Environment based on research from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, calling for open communication, collaboration, effective decision making, meaningful recognition, appropriate staffing, and authentic leadership.
In discussion: Labor are discussing two proposed new articles, one on pandemic/state of emergency preparedness, and the other regarding creation of short shifts.
- The Pandemic/State of Emergency language includes demands for creation of a new subcommittee to plan and review practices and protocols; requests for Americans with Disabilities accommodations; reports on PPE; training and orientation on patient care during these circumstances; and employer communication with labor about member and patient infection rates. This proposal has been back and forth several times since March between labor and management, and we seem to be getting closer together but we’re not there yet.
- The Short Shift Position language proposes creation of four- and six-hour shifts to cover breaks, and meet staffing and patient care needs. Labor is concerned that these positions will be attractive to members who want to further their education but leave them short hours and exclude them from the SEIU Training Fund. Kaleida said these positions would be eligible for benefits such as health insurance and retirement funds. Labor and management remain far apart on this proposal.
Job upgrades: This week we welcomed dozens of members to 1199SEIU’s local headquarters and heard their job upgrade presentations. Groups including Guest Services, Medical Secretaries, Anatomic Pathology Assistants, Phlebotomists, Ultrasonographers, Surgical Techs, Social Workers, Child Life Specialists, and many more told Kaleida administration and labor about their roles, their difficult working conditions, the changes in their jobs and why an upgrade was well-deserved.
Economics: It is now one week since labor passed our economic package across the table to Kaleida, with our demands for wages, pension, and health and dental insurance. No response on it yet. Kaleida did come to labor with a presentation based on our staffing proposals, and 1199SEIU and CWA had some concerns that management was overestimating the number of positions we want in some departments. We will meet again in the near future to discuss it again in more detail.