BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nurses from Kaleida Health will no longer be provided to Buffalo Public Schools.
The Buffalo Board of Education voted Wednesday night to replace nurses from Kaleida Health with Sunbelt Staffing.
Here is the breakdown:
+ Pierce voted yes.
+ Quinn voted yes.
+ Belton-Cottman voted yes.
+ Flanagan-Priore-Recused herself due to conflict of interest, because she's a Kaleida employee.
+ Harris-Tig voted yes.
+ Jay voted no.
+ Mecozzi abstained.
+ Woods voted yes.
+ Board President Barbara Nevergold voted no.
Here's why she said she did.
"I do believe that diligence was done by the Superintendent and his staff and I wanted to see those questions that parents had regarding the service as to how they were going to fill the positions [answered]," said Nevergold.
Kaleida nurses have been in Buffalo schools for 13 years. In January, they submitted a bid for the contract. The electronic proposal was received on time, but the hard copy was delivered 16 minutes late.
That information wasn’t relayed to Kaleida until a few weeks ago.
We spoke with Kaleida Health Leaders and employees after the vote.
"Not unexpected. Considering they wouldn't let us compete in the bid process to begin with, but I think you saw a lot of questions tonight about cutting union jobs, questions about transparency. The whole process is a joke and I think you saw that play out over the course of three hours tonight. So the ones who lose here are the kids," said Kaleida Health Chief of Staff, Michael Hughes.
"The children mean the world to mean the world to me. I know everyone of them by name when they walk into my room. I know their parents, I know their siblings, I know their complications, I know their illnesses," said Kaleida Nurse, Susan Budzinski.
According to Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash, Sun Belt's bid was about $1.5-$1.8 million dollars cheaper than Kaledia's and he says the company comes well recommended.
They're now working to negotiate a three-year deal with them.
"I wouldn't bring a recommendation to the board if I felt there would be a drop-off in services, in quality, in transparency. And in the opportunity to maybe go to another level and maybe even improve upon current practices," said Cash.
Since the board went with another provider, 77 nurses will be reassigned after finishing out the school year. They’ve been told they have jobs at Oishei's Children’s Hospital.
Spectrum News asked Michael Hughes if Kaleida Health would throw its hat back into the ring in three years.
Here's what he said:
"That's premature at this point. Our jobs at this point is to protect the nurses we have right now and make sure that everyone's accounted for beginning tomorrow morning," said Hughes.