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Kaleida and unions agree to $15 minimum wage, increased staffing

Kaleida Health expanding coronavirus testing and adding essential workers
Posted at 12:24 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 17:00:44-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7,200 healthcare workers represented by three separate unions (CWA 1168, IUOE Local 17 and 1199SEIU) voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement with Kaleida Health which will include a $15 per hour minimum wage and increased staffing.

All union members will receive a one-time four percent ratification bonus based on hourly rate and a total wage increase of six percent over the life of the contract. Anyone who currently makes below $15 per hour will be increased to that rate by May 2020.

The unions say this agreement makes Kaleida the first health system in Upstate New York to commit to a living wage.

As a proud member of CWA and a RN at Buffalo General Hospital for over 30 years, I am very happy and grateful for the new contract. It is comprehensive and includes the things most important to my colleagues and I, such as pay raises, good health insurance with low premiums, pension improvements and improvements to staffing.
Linda Sheehan, RN at Buffalo General Hospital

Kaleida has also agreed to hire 90 full-time equivalent positions across the system. The hires will take place in both nursing and non-nursing positions and a staffing panel will be created to address staffing disputes.

This staffing plan will move us much closer to achieving the staffing levels needed to continue to providequality care to our patients.
Cori Gambini, CWA Local 1168, President.

The new agreement covers nurse practitioners, RNs, LPNs, techs, professionals, service workers and engineers working at these area facilities:

  • Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo
  • DeGraff Memorial Hospital
  • Millard Fillmore Suburban
  • Buffalo General Medical Center
  • HighPointe on Michigan
  • Kaleida Business Office

The agreement became retroactively effective May 31st, 2019 will end May 31st, 2022.