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NIAGARA FALLS – A federal mediator will join contract talks on Monday between Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Local 1199, Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East.

The union represents 650 employees, including registered and licensed practical nurses, therapists, social workers and dietary, housekeeping and maintenance staff. SEIU said Friday that talks began in September and the contract, which was to have expired Dec. 8, has been extended several times by mutual consent and now runs until Feb. 15.

Issues in the talks include wages and benefits, staffing levels and the union’s attempt to preserve as many full-time jobs as possible.

Hospital spokesman Patrick J. Bradley said, “We’re going to move forward and work with the folks at 1199 SEIU in a collaborative fashion to reach an agreement we all can live with.”