Thursday, June 3, 2021

Labor dispute at Absolut Gasport

Absolut of Gasport posted the following on their Facebook page:

You may have heard that RCA is in labor negotiations with a portion of our #AbsolutCareofGasport workforce. As often happens, most of the certified nursing assistants [CNAs], food service, housekeeping and activities staff involved voted for picketing .

Please be assured that this will have no effect on the fine care we provide. RCA will draw on our other facilities to maintain full staffing. If you have concerns, please call Andrea Czora at 716.650.7755.

We also want to be transparent about these management-union negotiations. We met twice in May with representatives of the union, 1199SEIU, and also yesterday. We have great respect for the hard-working, front-line employees. RCA demonstrated this throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by being among the first health-care companies in the state to create a $5-an-hour bonus for our employees working in a COVID area. That consideration is emblematic of our approach to the negotiations.

Since RCA took over Absolut’s operations in March 2020, we:

• increased the starting wage rates for these employees by 3%
• raised the CNA rate from $12.94 to $13.35 an hour in April 2020
• negotiated the rate to $13.70 for CNAs in August 2020
• voluntarily enhanced employees’ health-insurance coverage in March 2021
• bargaining unit employees hired prior to Jan 1, 2020 also received a 25-cents-per-hour raise on June 1, 2020 and again on Jan. 1, 2021

In the last year, RCA established 3 other contracts with 1199SEIU locals at 4 facilities in WNY and 1 in Painted Post. The employees ratified the contracts, which will pay the CNAs $14.35 an hour. At the negotiating table, RCA offered our Gasport CNAs $14.45 an hour and $14.50 an hour for cooks.”
The company also offered:

• longevity bonuses up to $600/person after contract ratification
• increased pension contributions
• double-time for Christmas
• improved wage progressions

We expect to agree to a fair and acceptable contract that enhances employees’ salaries and benefits. Thank you.