The new pact brings the teacher assistants under the general protection of the "master contract" between Kaleida, WCHOB's parent corporation, and several thousand other 1199 SEIU and other union members.

The teacher assistants work at various Buffalo area locations of the Early Childhood Development and Head Start Programs operated by Kaleida under a grant from the federal Department of Education. "Limited funds made for difficult negotiations at times." said union organizer Todd Hobler. "But the effort was worth it. Everyone was very happy with the results."

The teacher assistants formed an 1199 SEIU chapter in April and were given formal recognition by Kaleida the next month. (Buffalo)--Teacher assistants who work in the Early Childhood Program of Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) last week approved their first ever union contract. The group of 13 teacher assistants will see wage increases of between +5% and +24% retroactive to June, as well as improvements in their health insurance, continuing education and tuition program, and job security.