Chicago hospital workers reach agreement after 11-day strike

Loretto Hospital in Chicago and Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois have reached a new labor agreement.

The tentative agreement, reached Aug. 10, follows an 11-day strike by union members.

It includes increases to minimum wage rates for all titles, across-the-board wage increases for all Loretto workers, and wage increases recognizing years of service, according to a union news release shared with Becker's. It also includes a Juneteenth paid holiday.

"I went on strike because the Austin community deserves a fully staffed hospital where patients don't have to wait for hours and hours for a clean bed," Yolanda McPhearson, a lead crisis worker and bargaining committee member, said in the release. "It's common sense that we can't address a staffing crisis without paying workers livable wages. This contract is a huge win for safe staffing and quality care."

SEIU Healthcare Illinois represents about 200 workers at Loretto, a nonprofit, community-based organization located on Chicago's West Side. On July 19, healthcare workers at Loretto delivered a 10-day strike notice to the hospital, and the strike ended Aug. 10 with the tentative deal.

Loretto shared the following statement with Becker's: "We appreciate the dedication of union and hospital leaders to secure a contract that addressed the concerns of our team members. It is critical that Loretto Hospital remains open and accessible to the Austin community. We will continue to partner with SEIU, clergy, corporate and community stakeholders to secure the funding and resources needed for the hospital's long-term growth. We welcome our team members back to work."

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