This week, 1199SEIU had union delegate elections on Tuesday, so CWA met with Kaleida administration to present some of our 40-plus open arbitration cases, which resulted in settlements for four grievances related to discipline.
CWA and 1199SEIU have discussed a 30-day contract extension because we will not have completed bargaining before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of this month on May 31, 2022. We will be presenting Kaleida administration with a letter to extend the contract until June 30, 2022. We are waiting for Kaleida to review the letter. A contract extension guarantees that your wages, benefits, and work conditions will remain intact while we continue to negotiate for a new contract.
We have reached Tentative Agreements to maintain current contract language on Temporary Employees (Article 13), Temporary Transfers Between Kaleida Health Sites (Article 54), Attendance Bonus (Article 64), No Strike, No Lockout (Article 70), Job Security Committee (Article 74), Workforce Training and Retraining Committee (Article 77), and Administration of the ADA (Article 106).
In order to keep the workforce safe, CWA and 1199SEIU proposed a Memorandum of Understanding on Lead aprons that we gave to Kaleida in March. Kaleida proposed significant changes, such as offering “departmental Lead,” so this week we offered a counter proposal demanding that all members who work with fluoroscopy be provided with properly fitting Lead.
We also packaged and gave to hospital administration the articles about holidays and PTO usage with our counter proposal on Kaleida’s Letter of Intent on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In our draft Letter of Intent, we highlighted where Kaleida has room for improvement regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
CWA and 1199SEIU feel strongly that members should be able to take off Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Juneteenth, so our proposal counts these among paid holidays and allows everyone to earn PTO toward one additional day off.
NYS HEALTHCARE WORKER BONUS
Last month, Governor Hochul and the legislature approved an historic $20 billion dollar investment in the healthcare work force. The investments provided for wage increases for home care workers, investments to healthcare infrastructure, expansion of Medicaid eligibility and a cost of living adjustment for human service workers. Part of the investment provides for healthcare worker bonuses which will go to workers in clinical job titles.
How Do I Get My Bonus?
Members who are entitled to the bonus will be paid through Kaleida. Kaleida must determine your eligibility based on employment dates and title.
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for the NYS Healthcare worker bonus, you must have a clinical job title, earning a base salary of less than $125,000 annually. You must have worked six months straight for one employer during the vesting period (including contract/per-diem work). The vesting period is between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2024.
Members who work at least 35 hours will get a full bonus of $1,500. If you work part-time, that amount will be adjusted based on a sliding scale. All qualifying members would be eligible for 2 bonuses, a total of $3,000 for full-time and part-time will be done on a sliding scale. The healthcare worker bonuses must be claimed as income on your taxes, but you will not have to pay any local or state taxes.
Kaleida is responsible for keeping track of your work hours and distributing bonuses from the state to eligible workers. Kaleida reported to the bargaining committee that they are waiting for guidance from NYS to determine how those payments will be made to the employees covered by the law. As soon as we have more information on disbursement of the payments from Kaleida, we will inform you.
What If I Am Not Covered?
The state’s criteria is very specific for workers who are covered by the bonus. We have reached out to Kaleida to ask about workers who are not covered.
The unions will continue to fight for workers that were not included in NYS Healthcare Worker bonus. We didn’t work through the pandemic alone. We worked together and we know that healthcare is not about one group of workers, it’s about all workers. We will continue to update you on our fight.