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Kaleida reaches tentative deal with unions covering 7,200 workers

Kaleida Health has reached a tentative agreement with three unions on a three-year deal that covers 7,200 unionized workers.

Details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed, and the unions are preparing to hold ratification votes this month.

The three unions are Communications Workers of America 1168, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and International Operating Engineers Local 17.

The unions are aiming to hold the ratification votes on July 24 and 25, but the dates are not yet finalized, said Cori Gambini, president of CWA 1168.

The two sides began bargaining in March and held more than 50 negotiating sessions. The contract expired in late May, but the union agreed to two extensions. The second of those two extensions ran out in late June.

"I think it was a hard fight, but I think we did a lot of good on behalf of our members and the community we work hard for every day," Gambini said.  The tentative deal contains a "good wage and benefits package" and healthcare, as well as improvements in staffing, Gambini said.

The unions were prepared to conduct informational picketing outside Oishei Children's Hospital and Buffalo General Medical Center on Wednesday, to protest the lack of an agreement. But the picketing was called off.

Jody Lomeo, Kaleida's president and CEO, said the deal "invests in our workforce in a number of areas."

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