BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — There’s still no deal the day after Catholic Health and CWA leaders met at the bargaining table to try and hammer out a contract that would end the Mercy Hospital strike.

President & CEO of Catholic Health Mark Sullivan spoke with the media Wednesday afternoon as the strike continues on its sixth day. Sullivan says he’s optimistic a deal will be reached but said: “only CWA can end the strike.”

CWA offered a comprehensive economic package proposal to Catholic Health, including wages for service workers above $15 per hour. Catholic Health said its $33 million wage and benefit package includes competitive wages.

Sullivan said healthcare staffing is a struggle across the nation, not just at Catholic Health.

“One in five healthcare workers, since the pandemic has started, has left healthcare. This is not a Mercy Hospital staffing crisis, this is not a Catholic Health staffing crisis, this is a national staffing crisis. Healthcare, overall, is broken,” said Sullivan.

The current contract proposal from Catholic Health includes a commitment to add 250 new positions, increase staffing above ten percent of the daily average census and provide bonus pay to workers who pick up extra shifts if the hospital isn’t hitting its staffing benchmarks.

CWA is standing firm in its commitment to strike until a deal is reached that ensures staff staffing and competitive wages they believe is fair.

You can watch Sullivan speak in the video player above.

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.