BUFFALO, N.Y. — Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan on Wednesday urged the community to tell CWA Local 1133 members to end the ongoing strike at Mercy Hospital and focus on negotiations.
He says the strike is straining other area hospital emergency rooms and that the overflow did not have to happen.
Sullivan says one in five health care workers have left their jobs since the pandemic, and says this issue is bigger than just Mercy Hospital, Catholic Health and CWA — calling it a “national staffing crisis.”
He calls on elected officials and government policy makers to fix the crisis.
Sullivan says Catholic Health is doing everything they possibly can to change the tide of the crisis, but only CWA can end this strike to help the community.
“To be clear, Catholic Health has been at the bargaining table,” he said. “Yesterday and into the evening, trying to finalize a deal with the union with the utmost urgency. We ask the union and CWA to share that same urgency.
“We want to welcome our associates back to the Mercy Hospital where they belong. We want them back. There is no replacement for their experience, their expertise, their compassion and the care they provide for their patients. I said before, they are the heart and soul of this hospital. They need to be back here caring for those in need."
Sullivan says Catholic Health is committed to getting a fair contract for the CWA very soon.
He says the health care provider submitted a comprehensive proposal last week and both sides are now in negotiations.
Spectrum News 1 has reached out to CWA leaders for comment and are waiting to hear back.