August 13, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Buffalo, NY – As the Communications Workers of America (CWA) conducts four days of new contract negotiations with the Catholic Health System (CHS) this week, a new report released Tuesday (August 9th) reveals the “heart-wrenching” impact of Short Staffing within the Buffalo health care system’s area hospitals and nursing homes.
Worse yet, the report predicts a “looming crisis for Catholic Health, its patients and Employees” as testimony from Health Care Professionals also focuses in on the problems of patients lying in their own feces and urine and the failure to clean up blood on hospital beds.
“We went ‘back and forth’ and there was ‘good discussion’ on staffing. It ‘sounds good’ and (Catholic Health) is ‘saying the right things,’ but there’s nothing on paper,” CWA Local 1133 President Deb Arnet told WNYLaborToday.com during a break in the negotiations on Tuesday. “It’s ‘hard to say’ (when asked if the recent and public actions taken by the Union have made an impact at the bargaining table). We’ll have a ‘good sense’ at the end of the week.”
Arnet was referring to a major rally that drew 1,000 outside Catholic Health’s South Buffalo Mercy Hospital on Tuesday, August 2nd. Better patient care, high turnover and low pay are some of the issues that Union Workers are upset about as they attempt to negotiate a new contract with the Buffalo health care system (For More on This Labor News Story, Read Your On-Line Labor Newspaper’s August 3rd Report, Headlined: Signs Reading “Just Practicing” Stand Out During Major Rally Held Outside South Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital That Draws 1,000 Following Union-Represented Health Care Workers Approval To Strike Employer).
Contracts between CWA Locals 1133 and 1168 and Catholic Health at three of its Buffalo area hospitals have expired: St. Joseph’s in Suburban Cheektowaga on August 31st, 2015; and Kenmore Mercy and South Buffalo Mercy on November 30th, 2015. In addition, Technicians represented by CWA at Kenmore Mercy also expired on November 30th, 2015. The CWA represents 2,500 Catholic Health Employees who are currently working under expired contracts. Overall, the CWA represents around 3,000 Catholic Health Workers. To read more click on the following link