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Both sides to meet Monday amid strike at Mercy Health St. Vincent's hospital

(WTVG)
Published: May. 19, 2019 at 10:11 PM EDT
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Monday could be a big day in the strike at Mercy Health Saint Vincent’s hospital. Both the union and Mercy Health are expected to be back at the bargaining table, two weeks to the day since the strike started.

This will be the first time both sides sit down for formal negotiations since this all began. Maybe it's the start of the end.

The car horn honking was still going strong in Sunday's wind and rain outside the hospital. Conditions that did cause some hazards.

"We keep getting hit by cars with the lovely puddles but you have to just keep your spirits up and have a good time with it," said Saint V’s nurse Erika Green.

For nearly two weeks nurses, technical workers, support staff and union supporters have picketed outside the hospital. The main issues are still things like mandatory overtime and health care benefits. Could it all start to be worked out Monday as a federal mediator joins the talks?

"We're really fingers crossed that both sides can kind of sit down and really discuss the issues at hand and not just give a 'this is our last, best, final offer,'" said Green.

"I remain optimistic. Hopefully they bring forth their best efforts and want to come to the table and negotiate fairly with the UAW," said Saint Vincent’s nurse Barbara Mazur.

Mercy Health said in a statement, it remains hopeful it will receive new proposals from the UAW to resolve outstanding issues. Those on the line say they hope that means back to work and back to patients.

"The hospital has to be losing money and the staff out on the streets isn't making money so we want to get back into the hospital and take care of our patients," said Mazur.

Many details of this meeting are being kept quiet. An exact location is not being released and 13abc is told when a federal mediator is involved that person wants all sides to say nothing publicly as their talks continue on. So we'll see what we learn in the next few days as maybe a deal is hammered out.

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