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Kaleida Health Statement on Union Negotiations: September 15, 2022

Released: 9/15/2022 10:15:00 PM

Kaleida Health today released the following statement regarding union negotiations with CWA1168 and 1199SEIU:

“We are eager to get back to the bargaining table tomorrow. The unions have had to focus on the strike vote, so we have not been able to negotiate the past three days. As we have said all along, we do not want a strike, it will be devastating and dangerous for this community.

“What we want is a fair contract that appropriately rewards our workforce and positions the organization for the future. That includes no concessionary bargaining, addressing staffing needs, and once again becoming the market leader in wages. We have not wavered from those commitments, but our resources are not endless. In fact, we are trying to negotiate a contract after posting over $200 million in losses since 2020 due to the pandemic. Right now, the current union proposal is estimated at over $500 million. Simply put, those numbers jeopardize the future viability of Kaleida Health.

“All that said, we continue our strike contingency planning. This week we met with both the Erie County Health Department as well as the New York State Department of Health to review our updated scenario plans. That includes everything from emergency room access, triaging surgical cases, ambulance transportation as well as coordination with hospitals outside of Western New York that we may need to transfer patients to.

“Again, our hope is that those measures will prove unnecessary, but it is critical that we have contingencies in place for the sake of our patients. Patient access and care will remain the priority, no matter the duration or location of a possible work stoppage.”