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Catholic Health & Mercy Hospital workers remain at bargaining table

“Can you imagine if there was a strike at Mercy?"
Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 23:59:04-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The leader of Catholic Health says the goal is to reach an agreement by the end of the day to avoid a strike Friday at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo.

Outside Mercy Hospital.

Catholic Health CEO Mark Sullivan held a late afternoon news briefing Thursday saying they do not want the CWA to strike.

The union has been in a down-to-the-wire fight with Catholic Health for nurses and staffers at mercy hospital.They are asking for higher wages, more staffing and a health care plan without high deductibles.

So far, the union has rejected other offers from Catholic Health. But Sullivan says a new proposal has been presented to the union. He says catholic health is working to offer a proposal that provides fair and competitive wages,

A plan to increase staffing and a benefits plan workers are requesting — all in hopes of avoiding a strike Friday morning.

Catholic Health CEO Mark Sullivan in a news briefing Thursday afternoon.

“Can you imagine if there was a strike at Mercy. We don't want that and nor does CWA, so we're committed to being at the table — all through the night —like we were last might with the union up until the wee hours of the morning we cant have a strike — we can't afford to have so many workers out of work,” remarked Sullivan.

Deborah Hayes is a CWA leader. She says they are getting closer to an agreement on wages.

Deborah Hayes is a CWA leader.

“Some of the sticking points for us continue to be our staffing proposal where we're proposing ratios for direct care givers and folks in our ancillary departments as well,” explained Hayes.

Catholic Health issued an offer Thursday to the union.

catholic health offer .jpg
Catholic Health offer to union.

Hayes says they are getting closer to an agreement on wages, but are also trying to correct working conditions, such as cleanliness and adequate supplies. Mercy Hospital has already suspended a number of service including most "labor and delivery services”,"elective inpatient surgeries" and is diverting ambulances to other hospitals in our area.

For now both sides will be remaining at the bargaining table. If the union declares a strike, it is set to begin at Friday at 6 a.m.