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CWA Local 1168 and 1199SEIU Members Go All Out to Fight for Their Contract

24 Aug, 2022

After months of nearly-nonstop bargaining and two contract extensions, CWA Local 1168 members and 1199SEIU members took to the streets for an Informational Picket at Buffalo General Hospital, part of the Kaleida Health network of hospitals and nursing homes in Western New York, on Thursday, August 15.

Thousands of healthcare workers and community members picketed for several hours to show Kaleida that we are not backing down from our demands for serious investment in the workforce that will improve patient care.

"I've been a registered nurse for 35 years and never experienced or seen staffing this bad,” said CWA 1168 President Cori Gambini during the picket.

CWA 1168 and 1199 of the Service Employees International Union together represent roughly 6,300 healthcare workers - including Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Dietary Workers, Personal Care Attendants, Professionals, Technicians, Service & Maintenance Workers, Clerical Workers and many more job titles - at three major hospitals, two nursing homes, and clinics across Western New York. Their previous three-year contract expired on July 31st of this year after two one-month extensions as the unions attempted to reach a fair agreement with the hospital system that would protect both workers and the patients they care for.

Negotiations have been moving steadily since they began earlier this year, but have slowed recently as the two sides have broached economic issues and attempted to tackle the dire staffing shortages that our members have been working under.

“In some of my units, my co-workers would have 30 patients apiece,” said Jennifer Hogue, Local 1168 Area Vice President. “How can one person care for 30 patients? The answer is they can't. They can't physically wash patients, feed patients, help patients with personal care, and change the bedding with that many patients.”

This week, the joint CWA and 1199 Bargaining Committee unanimously authorized a strike vote to be taken by the membership. The strike vote will be conducted within the coming weeks. 


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