Workers have voted in favor of going on strike at Kaleida Health, which operates four hospitals in the Buffalo area.
Officials of three unions representing more than 7,000 employees reported Wednesday night that they have been authorized to give Kaleida a 10-day notice of a work stoppage if a new contract agreement is not reached by June 21, when the current contract extension expires.
Kaleida and the three unions – Local 1168, Communications Workers of America; Local 17, International Union of Operating Engineers; and Local 1199 SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East – have held 30 negotiating sessions since March. They will meet again today with a federal mediator present.
Kaleida Health spokesman Michael P. Hughes noted that the two sides “have reached tentative agreement on 143 articles, which represents the majority (90 percent) of the contract.”
Union negotiators contend that Kaleida’s numbers don’t add up.
“The discrepancies we see could make a tremendous difference in safe staffing levels, quality care, decent health care and living wages,” said Local 1199 SEIU Vice President Jim Scordato.