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NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the union representing 650 of its employees, including nurses, reached a tentative three-year contract agreement Tuesday, the hospital announced.

The deal came the day before members of Local 1199, Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare ► CQ ◄ Workers East, were planning an informational picket outside the hospital.

Hospital spokesman Patrick J.

Bradley said no information on the terms will be released until the union holds a ratification vote later this month.

The sides had been bargaining with the help of a federal mediator since December, after talking on their own for three months. The old contract expired Dec. 8 but was extended several times, with the last extension running out Sunday. ► 31st ◄

Issues in the talks had been wages, health insurance, job security and retirement benefits. Besides registered and licensed practical nurses, SEIU represents medical technicians, therapists, social workers and dietary, housekeeping and maintenance workers.