Chicago nurses set to strike

Members of the Illinois Nurses Association are set to strike Oct. 3 amid negotiations with Chicago-based Howard Brown Health.

The union represents 30 nurses employed by Howard Brown Health, according to a Sept. 29 INA news release shared with Becker's. Howard Brown Health is a health and social service delivery system that serves men, women, trans and gender non-conforming individuals, infants, youth, and children.

Union members have been bargaining since June for a new contract, according to the INA release. Howard Brown Health said in a Sept. 28 news release that the system has reached 18 tentative agreements with the union on non-economic proposals, including staffing levels, remote work and progressive discipline. "Economic topics are last, which is typical for union negotiations," the system said. "Still in discussion are base wages, bonuses, pay differentials and benefits."

Union members contend Howard Brown Health has used unfair bargaining tactics and that there has not been meaningful movement during bargaining on wages and policies to retain nurses. "Nurses work at Howard Brown Health because they care about the queer population that they serve, but those patients cannot properly be cared for given the conditions at Howard Brown Health. That's the bottom line of this strike," Tony Valentin, RN, said in the INA release.

Labor actions are scheduled Oct. 3-8 throughout Chicago. A strike may still be averted if both sides reach an agreement.

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