CWA, 1199SEIU Kick Off Kaleida Health Bargaining with Proposals to Address Severe Staffing Shortages Fueled by Pandemic

March 16, 2022


At a 4:00 pm press conference, bargaining committee will provide a debrief on their first meeting with Kaleida and workers’ key goals for new contract 


Buffalo, NY - Union workers at Kaleida Health will hold a press conference on Wednesday, March 16 at 4:00 pm following the first day of contract bargaining sessions with the healthcare giant. Committee members with the Communications Workers of America Local 1168 (CWA) and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU) will come to the bargaining table with an actionable set of proposals to address safe staffing levels, and guaranteed dignity and respect on the job -- something that many members cite has suffered tremendously throughout their time working during the pandemic. Members are also seeking greater job security and a fair wage increase to reflect their commitment and dedication to providing healthcare in our local community. 


Healthcare workers and staff at Kaleida who sacrificed their own health and well-being to provide care to Buffalo during the pandemic continue to face the stress of long hours, understaffing and mistreatment on the job resulting in high turnover rates and low morale. As the largest private employer and hospital system in Western New York, Kaleida must offer a quality  contract for workers in order to attract talented staff and provide the exceptional care patients deserve. 


Currently, the hospital system relies heavily on travel nurses due to its inability to provide attractive long-term positions. Low wages within nursing have made travel positions increasingly popular due to their overwhelmingly higher earning potential and benefits, placing Kaleida at further risk of losing more long-term staff to travel nursing.


Members of CWA and 1199SEIU will sit down with Kaleida Health officials for their first joint bargaining session on Wednesday, ahead of the expiration of their 3-year current contract on May 31st. Negotiations will represent a variety of Kaleida Health workers, ranging from  Nurses, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Professionals, Laboratory, Clerical Workers, , Service & Maintenance and Dietary Workers. Union members at Kaleida Health work at locations including Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Oishei Children’s Hospital, HighPointe on Michigan and DeGraff Medical Park. 



  • Cori Gambini, CWA President Local 1168
  • Jim Scordato, 1199SEIU Vice President 
  • Healthcare workers from Kaleida Health 


What: CWA & 1199SEIU to Hold Press Conference kicking Off the Start of Contract Negotiations with Kaleida Health 


When/Where: Wednesday, March 16th, 4:00 PM

2421 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214 




The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications, customer service, healthcare, media, airlines, public service, and manufacturing. District One represents 65,000 total members in New York State.


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.