Fair Contract For All Employees at Kaleida Health

June 28, 2011 Updated Jun 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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June 28, 2011 Updated Jun 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Nearly 8,000 Kaleida Health Employees can now get back to business as usual after months of working toward a contract that gives them what they call their fair share.

"This is another example that middle class union working people saying stop we're not the problem. We deserve what we get. We're out there providing service," President of CWA 1168 and Nurse John Klein said.

A final agreement was made around 2 o'clock Tuesday morning and it has taken the groups nearly four months to get to this point. They even held an information protest that brought thousands of people out last month. This agreement between Kaleida Health and the Unions came just in time. Tuesday morning, employees were planning to walk off the job but now the strike will not happen.

"We're very pleased. I would say I'm cautiously optimistic because we still have to vote on it. Most people are satisfied that they came to an agreement," employee Rodney Durick said.

Some of the issues holding up the agreement were staff size, salaries and health insurance. Kaleida Health President and CEO Jim Kaskie said agreeing on a contract was a challenge because of all the elements involved.

"When you look at the complexity of the organization, five hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory sites, laboratories, it's very complex and there were multiple issues to be addressed," Kaskie said.

Union representatives said it was a tedious process but they were not going to stop until they thought the contact was fair for the all employees

"To get a good contract that is responsible and doesn't take steps backwards that's important right now," Klein said.

Now, employees are just waiting on the union to set a date for the ratification vote.