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Workers at Mercy Hospital return to the picket line Sunday morning; Strike continues for 3rd day

Members of the union say they are ready to get back to bargaining, but Catholic Health says it's waiting for a written response to its pre-strike proposal.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Day three of the strike at Mercy Hospital is underway and there's still no agreement on new contracts.

CWA Local 1133 union members are back on the picket line Sunday morning outside the South Buffalo Mercy Hospital. Members of the union say they are ready to get back to bargaining, but Catholic Health says it's waiting for a written response to its pre-strike proposal.

Catholic Health and members of the CWA are trying to come to agreements on six contracts for nurses and service employees who work at Mercy, Kenmore Mercy, and the St. Joseph Campus of Sisters Hospital in Cheektowaga. The contracts involve 2,500 employees.

Union workers told 2 On Your Side Saturday that they are making sure the mediator knows they are going to respond to the latest proposal from Catholic Health.

"Our committee is ready, willing, and able to get back to the bargaining table to look at what they plopped down there after we left and to get something to them in writing that represents what we need to get the strike settled," said Debbie Hayes, upstate director of CWA Local 1133.

Catholic Health did not make anyone available for interviews Saturday, but said in a press release that they are ready to schedule their next bargaining session with CWA.

Catholic Health's Director of Public Relations JoAnn Cavanaugh released the following statement Saturday night:

"CWA can contact the hospitals through the mediator to schedule our next bargaining session. Our committee will answer the union’s questions about our proposals but we think it’s important to give the union more time to carefully consider our offer."