7,200 Kaleida Health workers reach new contract agreement
Over the next few days, 7,200 unionized workers at Kaleida Health will be briefed on provisions of a new contract between three unions and healthcare network.The prior contract expired in May and there wasn't an immediate replacement as talks continued. Then, an agreement was reached early Wednesday, a day when the workers were planning an informational picket.
The workers will now be briefed on what's in the new agreement, then voting sessions will be set.
Involved unions are 1199 SEIU, CWA Local 1168 and Operating Engineers Local 17. Jamel Gibbs was part of the union's bargaining team as chair of the Service and Maintenance Bargaining Unit. He works in Housekeeping at Oishei Children's Hospital. Gibbs said money was an issue, but there were others like training.
"We wanted to get more of education," Gibbs said. "There's no ladder outside of Housekeeping, so we train within. We send people to school, like myself. I've been a part of the education program that SEIU has. I took the sterilization course and I've just recently finished taking a pharmacy tech course."
Gibbs said workers want job security and they want adequate staffing.
"Housekeeping is very diverse, so we have a mixture of young and older employees," he said. "The younger crowd wanted to know more about education and going to classes. The older crowd wanted to know about retirement and pensions. So it was very even keel of what the issues were."
Kaleida said workers will get financial benefits and staffing commitments, while the pact stays within Kaleida's economic framework. The workers covered range from nurses to file clerks working in Kaleida's array of medical care facilities and its business office.
Read the terms of the tentative contract below, as provided by CWA Local 1168: