You will have a longer wait than usual if you have an emergency at Mercy Hospital until further notice.

As of Friday morning, hundreds of CWA workers gathered together in striking efforts after the Catholic Health and the CWA union were unable to reach an agreement for six labor contracts.

These six contracts cover approximately 2,200 registered nurses and technical, service, and clerical associates. The union’s contracts expired at 11:59 pm on Thursday.

The strike is truly no surprise, and it had to have been expected by Catholic Health. Before the contracts’ expiration, 97% of the union members voted to move forward with striking measures if a deal was not reached prior to Thursday.

It does not seem like an agreement will be reached anytime soon in the coming days, as one representative said they were still millions of dollars apart in the negotiation process. 

Although these nurses are striking, they did not want it to come to this. The nurses’ decision to strike against Catholic Health truly came down to being a plea to find a common understanding. 

For several months, CWA has been talking with Catholic Health about adjusting the contracts to reflect the concerns that have been addressed by the valued nurses at Mercy Hospital and in the CWA. 

Support in the form of chants and car horns filled the streets in front of Mercy Hospital in Buffalo as the Catholic Health President and the CEO Mark Sullivan began to discuss plans to maintain necessary services at Mercy Hospital until the disagreements can be resolved.

The strike is still underway.

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