Second union slated to strike at University of Illinois Chicago

Members of SEIU Local 73 at University of Illinois Chicago, which includes UI Health, are preparing to strike this month.

SEIU Local 73 represents 4,000 clerical, service and maintenance, technical and professional workers across the campus and in the hospital. The union said it filed a 10-day notice of intent to strike Sept. 3, and a strike date is slated as Sept. 14.

UIC administration has "failed to respond with meaningful proposals around issues that matter most to workers including safe working conditions, adequate staffing and pay increases," SEIU Local 73 contends. The union has also filed unfair labor practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board against UIC.

Michael Amiridis, chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago and Michael Zenn, CEO of University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics, said in a statement Sept. 3 that UIC is committed to negotiations and "prepared to continue extensive good-faith bargaining for as long as it takes to reach fair and fiscally responsible agreements."

UIC's current contracts with SEIU bargaining units expired between August and December last year. Mr. Amiridis and Mr. Zenn said key terms of the current contracts, including compensation, health insurance and other benefits, are still in effect until both sides reach new agreements. 

The SEIU's notice of intent follows an announcement by the Illinois Nurses Association that about 1,300 members will begin a seven-day strike Sept. 12 unless there is a breakthrough in contract negotiations. The University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago has filed a lawsuit to prevent certain critical care nurses from striking in the event of a walkout by Illinois Nurses Association members. 

SEIU Local 73 representatives told Becker's Hospital Review: "We are coordinating and standing in solidarity with INA, as many of our issues, including fair pay, PPE access and more, are similar."


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