Today proved to be another frustrating day at the bargaining table. Little was accomplished in terms of proposals passed across the table and we focused our discussions on our Merger, Consolidation language and Pandemic language. We were however, able to have a substantial discussion on staffing and why Catholic Health’s proposal to follow their current staffing grids was completely unacceptable to the CWA bargaining committee.
We explained in no uncertain terms that the Catholic Health proposal was completely unacceptable. The example we used as the basis for our conversation was the ICU at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. The ICU has 28 beds, but Mercy staffs to 22 beds because that was the average daily census at some point in time. Mercy hires enough staff to cover 22 beds. The reality is, the ICU is often at 28 beds and so the nurses and ITAs that work in the ICU are doomed from the minute they walk in the door. There is absolutely no way that the nurses and ITAs needed to care for 22 patients can care for 28. That’s why the staffing in ICU is often 1 nurse for 3 patients and the ITA covers the whole unit.
While we waited hours for an economic package from Catholic Health we were able to evaluate the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate information that was finally distributed to members today. We believe we are close to an effects agreement on the mandate and hope to have that out to our members tomorrow.
We are scheduled to meet Saturday morning at 9:00 am and should get an economic package at that time.
If you want to observe negotiations, text Rebecca Scime at 716-265-0797 with your name, hospital and what date and time slot you would like and we will confirm and send you instructions on location. Bargaining is in Woodlawn on Lakeshore Rd.
Open bargaining begins tomorrow (9/25) each day until 9/30 for the following time slots: 9am-noon, 2pm-5pm, and 5pm - end. You do not have to stay the full time slot, but you do need to arrive on time in order to not interrupt bargaining. 20 people max will be allowed in each time slot.