Negotiations Update on Day 7 of CWA Strike

Oct 7, 2021Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, News & PR

While the hospitals’ bargaining committees and CWA continue to work through staffing, wages and other economic topics, the union continues to conduct activities that do not serve to move the open items on the table to resolution. 

“Throughout these negotiations, union leaders have coordinated pickets, rallies, and press conferences, rather than having a sense of urgency to get our associates back to work,” JoAnn Cavanaugh said. “We have a very good offer on the table that addresses staffing, provides competitive wages, and maintains existing benefits. That’s what the union should be sharing with their members.”

The union represents about 2,500 associates across three Catholic Health hospitals, and nearly 2,000 at Mercy Hospital. “CWA has a responsibility to represent all of its members, not just a small, vocal group,” Cavanaugh said. “On most days, there have been fewer than 100 people walking the union’s picket line. That tells us our associates would rather be inside the hospital caring for patients.”

Catholic Health decided to continue providing health benefits to its striking workers, while CWA said it will not provide any strike benefits to members until after Day 14. Unemployment benefits are not available until Day 15.

“CWA claims to be concerned about its members and patient care. The longer the union conducts its strike, the greater financial pressure it puts on its own members and the more strain it places on Erie County’s hospitals. Only CWA can end this strike,” Cavanaugh said.