KALEIDA HAS NOT RESPONDED TO OUR ECONOMIC PROPOSALS!
At bargaining, we have made some progress on a few non-economic articles and proposals. There is nothing concrete yet to report on money or benefits because Kaleida has not responded to our economic proposals. We gave hospital administration our “package” regarding staffing, wages, shift differentials, medical/dental insurance, parking, and retirement/pension two weeks ago. Until we receive management’s counter proposal, we continue discussing unresolved non-economic articles.
CWA and 1199SEIU are still meeting with Kaleida to discuss our staffing proposals, which include Floating (Article 91), the ratios we demanded in the Clinical Staffing Committee (CSC) meetings that began before bargaining, and the companion staffing proposal we made to cover non-acute sites such as long-term care and non-nursing job titles such as Dietary and Environmental Services. As reported last week, the unions believes that Kaleida double-counted members in some departments in our proposal. We continue to meet with hospital administration to discuss how we arrived at our respective sets of numbers.
On Monday, Kaleida administration gave a presentation showing their estimate that the union’s proposals will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The Unions and Kaleida both dispute some of the amounts in our proposals, and both sides have spent the week reviewing information. CWA and 1199SEIU’s economic proposals factored in every priority that members listed in the bargaining surveys. Half of the proposal would ensure adequate staffing, including the Clinical Staffing Committee ratios required by NYS law, and it is unclear whether this can truly be a cost attributed to the contract. Both unions are asking for no change to our health insurance; increased percentages for pension/retirement; raises for charge and preceptor/trainer roles; and a bump to all wage scales with percentage increases in each year of the contract.
By comparison, Kaleida reported our 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement cost $85 million in improvements. For one thing, before the 2019 contract we were not losing staff in almost every department the way we are now. Our union’s demands would increase staffing to levels that allow for safe and dignified patient care, permit members to take legally mandates breaks and lunches, and to accomplish our workloads with decreased stress and strain.
Tentative Agreement #1: Job Bidding and Transfer (Article 53) will remain at present contract language, except to remove IUOE, the operating engineers’ union, who withdrew from the Master Bargaining Agreement early this year.
Tentative Agreement #2: Labor and Kaleida also reached agreement on a new article about the process to award new or vacant courier routes. Available routes must be posted on paper in the Flint Road Courier Department, and the position listed for bids in accordance with the Job Bid and Transfer process.
Floating (Article 91, MOU 26): Our unions are exploring a new pay tier for float RNs, as well as higher float pool rates for all float pool employees, both to recruit people to these positions and as a way to streamline paying them, but nothing is decided yet. CWA and 1199SEIU continue meeting with Kaleida to discuss similar language for ancillary floats, as well. We are actively working to improve floating grids for the adult sites, as well as CAPD at BGMC. These discussions are moving forward at a good pace.
Flex Employees (Article 11): 1199SEIU and CWA have exchanged multiple proposals on this article because these positions are unpopular with members. Our unions want to limit the number and departments for flex positions because Kaleida rarely flexes these members. The most recent proposal would create a process to convert flex positions to non-flex, beginning 90 days after ratification for CWA members and upon position vacancy for 1199SEIU members. Labor is waiting for Kaleida’s response.