Union seeks hazard pay for University of Chicago hospital workers

A union representing healthcare workers at the University of Chicago Medicine is calling for hazard pay for their members amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CBS Chicago.

The push comes from Teamsters Local 743, which represents 1,715 University of Chicago Medicine workers. Workers supporting the union's push cite safety risks, concern about infecting families members and the desire to improve morale. 

"Everyone is scared," Ta'Aqau Luster, who works as a nursing support assistant, told CBS Chicago. "We're all scared, definitely." 

In response, the University of Chicago Medicine said it guarantees full wages and benefits to workers and is not taking the same measures as some other healthcare organizations. 

"While many in this country have had to worry about furloughs or lost income if they get sick, UCMC [University of Chicago Medical Center] has guaranteed wages and benefits for every employee during the pandemic, even if they get sick from COVID-19 away from work and even if they are healthy and there is currently no work for them," a statement from the medical center reads.

The hospital also said all employees are required to wear a mask on campus and have wellness checks.


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