Buffalo Hospital Workers Get Their Money and Staffing Back

Source: Patrick Weisansal and Ann Converso, Labor Notes, November 29, 2016

After giving something up in a previous contract, is it possible to win it back? It took a massive effort, but hospital workers in Buffalo proved it can be done.

Catholic Health is one of the two local hospital chains that dominate western New York. Communications Workers (CWA) Locals 1133 and 1168 represent 6,900 of its employees in six bargaining units.

Four years ago, Catholic Health cried poverty at the bargaining table. Threatened with layoffs, our unions reluctantly agreed to eliminate daily overtime (after eight or 12 hours, depending on the job—of particular importance to part-timers), cost-of-living increases, bonus pay for nurses who came in on short notice, and seniority-based wage scales. ….