BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The unions representing workers at Kaleida Health hospitals and healthcare centers released a joint statement on Monday, announcing they had reached a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the company to address critical staffing levels.
Workers at Kaleida Health are represented by three unions: CWA Local 1168, IUOE Local 17, and 1199SEIU.
In the statement, the unions say Kaleida Health met with them on Tuesday of last week to address staffing issues due to an increase in patient volume and the New York State vaccine mandate. The company's hospitals have seen more patients since CWA workers at Catholic Health started their strike at Mercy Hospital. That strike is still ongoing, and elective surgeries at some Kaleida facilities are being postponed due to the Catholic Health strike and other factors.
Kaleida Health is now offering incentives to staff who agree to take extra shifts in order to address staffing issues.
Details of the Kaleida Health Critical Staffing Incentive Program were provided to 7 Eyewitness News by the unions on Monday morning. Employees can sign up to take an additional shift each week over a single pay period (two weeks). To qualify for incentives, employees who take an extra shift must do so in addition to their full, usual schedule. If they have pre-approved time off within the pay period, they will still receive the incentive. If Kaleida cancels or changes the program after an employee has already signed up for that pay period, they will still receive the incentive.
Eligibility will be determined based on a "needs list" provided by Kaleida. The list will be provided to each union, and extra shifts will be distributed based on the collective bargaining agreement.
The program's incentives include:
- An additional $450 per pay period for RNs and Professionals
- An addition $325 per pay period for Technical and Clerical, which includes: CMA, MA, MA Student Nurse, NA, PCA, PSA, PCA Student Nurse and CNA
- An additional $225 per pay period for all other Service and Maintenance workers
Kaleida Health will review the program each pay period to determine if it can be ended or needs to be extended. The company will be giving three days notice to the unions if the status of the program changes.
Kaleida Health hospitals include Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, and Oishei Children's Hospital.