2,200 University of Chicago nurses schedule second strike

About 2,200 nurses at University of Chicago Medical Center in Hyde Park have scheduled a second strike for Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving.

The nurses walked off the job Sept. 20 in a strike organized by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United. They were allowed to return to work Sept. 25, after the medical center said it fulfilled its contract with temporary nurses to replace the striking ones for five days.

A second strike is now possible after the union gave official notice to the medical center, according to a Nov. 14 memo to medical center faculty, staff, students and residents from Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, dean and executive vice president for medical affairs, and University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O'Keefe. 

But union leaders said in a news release that a strike can be prevented if an agreement is reached.  

The union said nurses don't like a hospital proposal that they say would eliminate patient care support nurses.

Hospital officials said they are disappointed by the union's decision to strike and they have "offered significant compromises on many key issues" in recent negotiations.

When nurses went on strike in September, the medical center put adult and pediatric emergency departments on ambulance bypass and closed some units. Hospital officials did not indicate in their memo specific preparation efforts for a November strike but said that the medical center "showed the last time that we know how to come together to serve our patients."


More articles on human resources:
Kaiser workers postpone strike after news of CEO's death
'Enough is enough': Strike on for 500 St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial hospital employees
Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians prepare for 5-day walkout 

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