May 5 - Unions Demand Timely Grievance Process, Representation at Disciplines

This week in bargaining, CWA and 1199SEIU have reached Tentative Agreements on three articles with these changes:

Article 27, PTO Scheduling

  • The amount of PTO hours available per week in any department will be based on the average accrual rate for the job title;
  • PTO approval language is now consistent across bargaining units. Time requests for individual days may be submitted on paper or in the Kronos app when the time block opens;
  • PTO approval for RNs/LPNs at OCH is to be weighed based on departmental needs, not hospital staffing; Union delegate to be present for PTO approval process;
  • At DeGraff, employees will have an opportunity to take individual PTO days above the 37.5 hours minimum allowance, based on staffing.

Article 69, Employer Policies

  • Unions to be notified of any new or updated policies that could be used to discipline members.

Article 108, Workplace Violence

  • Strengthened language about a member’s ability to press charges against an assailant;
  • Both unions and Kaleida to work together in a subcommittee to ensure compliance with existing provisions of the contract.

OTHER UPDATES

New York State Paid Sick Leave
 - CWA and 1199SEIU are deep in discussions with Kaleida about the New York State Paid Sick Leave law and how it applies to probationary and per diem employees. The law requires a minimum of 56 hours of paid time, which neither of these groups currently receive. We have yet to reach an agreement with Kaleida about whether the time can be frontloaded, whether members need to state that they are using Paid Sick Leave time when they call in, or how NOB (No Benefit Time) will be handled.

On Call - The two unions continue to examine ways that Kaleida places members on call and whether it is appropriate and beneficial. The temporary downsizing situations that came up last week are still not settled; some surgical departments are using on-call to fill holes in the schedule. This article is still very much in discussion.

Disciplinary Procedure & Union Representation - We remain far apart here. The unions demanding limitations to the use of “Article 62” letters that inform members that they will be subjected to discipline at a future date, but Kaleida insists they need flexibility. The unions continue to push for tighter time frames to move grievances forward, consistency in disciplines handed down, and the process for requesting representation for members.

HIPAA - After years of member disciplines for questionable HIPAA infractions with CWA and 1199SEIU demanding clarity and consistency, Kaleida brought in Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, Victoria Belniak to give a presentation at bargaining. Our committee was able to ask her about what constitutes Protected Health Information, how staff may safely access a patient’s chart (for example, is it appropriate to transfer a call to the appropriate unit, or to determine the reasons behind a code), and how Kaleida administration decides on discipline for members found to be in violation.