Kaleida Health, unions stretch talks by extending contract for 2nd time

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Kaleida Health and its two largest unions will have more time to negotiate a new contract after the parties agreed to a second extension of their existing master bargaining agreement, according to a June 30 news release.

Kaleida and the unions, Communications Workers of America Local 1168 and 1199SEIU, have been in negotiations since early March to reach a new agreement that covers about 6,300 Kaleida employees. The extension allows more time at the bargaining table.

"We are making progress in negotiations," Kaleida CEO Bob Nesselbush said in the release. "But this contract is incredibly complicated and requires an enormous amount of time and effort from both management and union bargaining committees. It is important that we continue to keep pace as staffing and economics will require the majority of the remaining bargaining time over the next month."

The existing contract, originally set to expire May 31, was extended with a June 30 expiration date. The second extension is through the end of July.

In a joint statement shared with Becker's, the unions said: "Our bargaining committee has agreed to another 30-day contract extension, giving us more time to present our economic proposals and to continue negotiations on the issues critical to reaching a solid agreement on behalf of our members. A contract extension through July 31 protects union members' rights to the grievance arbitration process. 1199SEIU and CWA's bargaining committees are working with Kaleida Health's bargaining committee four days a week in an effort to move negotiations along."

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