Chicago health system nursing strike averted

Members of the Illinois Nurses Association and Chicago-based Howard Brown Health have reached a three-year agreement, averting a strike that was set to begin Oct. 3.

The union, which represents 30 nurses employed by Howard Brown Health, and Howard Brown Health, a health and social service delivery system, reached the tentative agreement Sept. 30, according to statements from both sides. With the deal in place, the union agreed to recommend ratification of the contract and call off the scheduled strike.

"After nearly four months of negotiations, our nurses have won a monumental second contract," nurses on the Howard Brown negotiation committee said, according to a union news release shared with Becker's. "They secured unprecedented staffing ratio language and wages and retention bonuses that acknowledge the hard and irreplaceable work that our registered nurses do."

According to the Illinois Nurses Association, the tentative agreement includes an immediate 5.5 percent pay increase (or higher based on pay steps) for the contract's first year; specific site-based staffing minimums; and an option for call center to work remotely, among other provisions.

Howard Brown Health, which serves men, women, trans and gender nonconforming individuals, infants, youth and children, described the deal as one that "reflects a culture that values patient experience and will guide us for three years and beyond."

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