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Agreement reached to end strike at Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital

November 5, 2021 GMT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Striking nurses and other employees at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo could be back on the job next week under a tentative agreement between their union and Catholic Health System.

“We listened to our associates and their primary concerns were market-competitive wages and increased staffing,” Mark Sullivan, president and CEO of Catholic Health said Thursday. “These new contracts address both and more. We are ready to welcome our caregivers back to Mercy Hospital.”

About 2,000 Mercy Hospital workers represented by the Communications Workers of America walked out on Oct. 1, citing staffing levels and working conditions as key issues.

Catholic Health said said in a statement on its website that it would add 250 new positions and reallocate staffing resources “to achieve the staffing numbers CWA sought.”

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Union officials told the Buffalo News that the striking workers could be back on the job by Wednesday pending ratification meetings over the weekend,

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul praised the agreement in a statement late Thursday.

“This contract could be a national model for recognizing our health care workers, and I urge both sides to make their agreement permanent as soon as possible so that together, Mercy Hospital and its workers can continue to play their critical role in servicing and caring for the Buffalo community,” Hochul said.

State Attorney General Letitia James also expressed satisfaction in a statement.

“I am pleased that the hardworking members of CWA reached a tentative agreement with the Catholic Health System and are finally getting the treatment they deserve,” she said.