BUFFALO, N.Y. — As contract negotiations with Kaleida Health continue, health care workers are making their voices heard.
Union members with the 1199 SEIU and CWA 1168 demonstrated outside Buffalo General Medical Center and Oishei Children's Hospital on Thursday. This comes after contracts for 6,300 union workers expired at the end of last month.
Kaleida Health released an update prior to the picket, saying in part that the organization continues to make good progress with the unions. They also say the proposed packages would give Kaleida employees the best wages and benefits compared to other providers in the area.
Union leaders say their members are severely understaffed. They are calling for better wages, benefits and guaranteed safe staffing levels.
"It's never easy for us to be out here, but if we're out here that tells you something is wrong in there," said Peter DeJesus, WNY Area Labor Federation communications director. 'We'd much rather be inside with our patients, giving the quality care that we trained for, that we know how to do."
In a show of support, other union members from Starbucks Workers United and the UAW joined in the event.