Strike Continues at Mercy Hospital

At Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital, a strike by some 2,500 nurses and other health care workers is dragging into its second week. The workers, represented by CWA Local 1133, began their strike on Oct. 1.

Nurses at the hospital say that inadequate staffing is causing enormous stress on the existing workforce and is damaging the quality of patient care.

Catholic Health told the Buffalo News that they are prepared to add 258 positions and give raises of 2-3% per year in the coming years, but the workers don’t think that’s enough – they are calling for staff-to-patient ratios to be written into the contract.

In an unusual development, Catholic workers employed at the hospital have formed a committee and have been conducting outreach in the Catholic community. The committee contends that under current management Mercy Hospital is falling short of the requirements for worker justice laid out in Catholic social teaching.

“There are people in the walls of Mercy Hospital who are making $13 an hour – that’s not a living wage,” said committee member Linda Bain (pictured), a Mercy Hospital RN and St. Teresa’s parishioner. “Mercy Hospital is a very different place than it was when the Sisters ran it.”

2 replies
  1. Robert Rebman
    Robert Rebman says:

    Things have changed in healthcare, and they are changing in Catholic education as well. Declining numbers of religious (and possibly lay people who understand the charism of the founding orders) combined with increased reliance and focus on the financial aspect of operations are changing these sectors of our economy. Not for the good of all. Is Mercy still a Catholic hospital – and how can we tell?

    Reply
  2. Laurie Konwinski
    Laurie Konwinski says:

    Let’s hope that the new bishop in Buffalo will call for justice for these essential workers. Administrators make a lot of money. It’s time to share with those who care directly for patients.

    Reply

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