BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is suspending Labor and Delivery Services at the hospital beginning 7 a.m. Wednesday due to ongoing preparations in the event of a strike by union workers.
Hospital officials say the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will remain open in order to care for babies currently there.
Catholic Health issued this statement, in part:
We believe these measures are in the best interest of our patients and community in light of the uncertainty regarding the potential strike. Any obstetrical patient who arrives at Mercy Hospital in active labor where delivery is imminent, will have their baby delivered at Mercy Hospital by their OB provider. Mother and baby will remain at Mercy for the duration of their hospital stay.
Mercy Hospital, as well as Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus continue to negotiate in good faith with CWA for 12-plus hours daily to reach a fair contract with market-competitive wages and benefits. With CWA Local 1133’s strike at Mercy Hospital only days away and the parties tens of millions of dollars apart, the hospital has begun implementing additional steps to prepare for the union’s strike.
We are disappointed the union is heading down a path to take nurses and other essential healthcare workers on strike in the midst of a global pandemic and during a State of Emergency. Our focus is on maintaining safe, high quality care at all our hospitals and limiting disruptions to our patients and their visitors should the union follow through with its strike threat at Mercy Hospital.
OB/GYN providers will contact patients to make other arrangements.
Catholic Health will continue to offer services at Sisters of Charity Hospital’s Main Street Campus and Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston.