CWA, 1199SEIU to Hold Informational Picket Calling on Kaleida Health to Provide Fair Contract that Supports Workers, Addresses Critical Understaffing

August 16, 2022

BUFFALO, NY - On Thursday, healthcare workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU) will hold an informational picket outside of Buffalo General Medical Center and the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in downtown Buffalo. The picket, coming as contract bargaining advances, will call attention to the unacceptable working conditions in the hospital system created by severe understaffing, and the dire need for a competitive contract with increased wages, improved benefits, and guaranteed safe staffing to help recruit and retain staff. 


During the picket, Kaleida Health workers will gather to publicly call out the lack of adequate staff that is compromising patient care, with more than 800 open vacancies in addition to the 436 newly created positions Kaleida has committed to filling to comply with the state’s safe staffing law. They will raise the urgent need for Kaleida to settle a fair contract as workers, who report feeling burnt out, exhausted, and undervalued, are leaving the hospital system at an unprecedented rate.


Picketing workers will demand the hospital system prioritize halting the mass exodus of employees due to working conditions by providing a competitive contract that will attract skilled permanent workers and improve care for patients.   Last week, union leaders met with state and local elected officials to call for short and long-term solutions to the staffing crisis facing many WNY hospitals, including Kaleida Health. Union leaders and members called upon the state to provide financial support for struggling hospitals planning to hire additional staff to meet the state’s new staffing legislation. 

When/Where: Thursday, August 18, 2022

                            3:00 PM - 5:30 PM outside of Buffalo General Medical Center 

                            100 High St, Buffalo, NY 14203

Press Conference at 4:00 PM 


Who: Kaleida Health union workers represented by Communications Workers of America (CWA) and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU) 


What: Informational picket to call attention to the unacceptable working conditions affecting staff and patients at Kaleida Health, and the dire need for a contract that will enable Kaleida to recruit and retain staff. 

Union Healthcare Workers at Kaleida Health are located at three major hospitals, two nursing homes, and clinics across Western New York including:  Buffalo General Medical Center, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, HighPointe on Michigan, DeGraff Medical Park and various community-based clinics.

Union members work as Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Dietary Workers, Personal Care Attendants, Professionals, Technicians, Service & Maintenance Workers, Clerical Workers and more.


The Communications Workers of America represents 300,000 working people nationally in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, and manufacturing. 


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.