University of Chicago Medicine nurses approve first contract

Registered nurses at University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Ill., have approved their first contract, a four-year agreement that includes paid family leave, a commitment from the hospital to hire associate degree nurses and pay increases, the union that represents them said Feb. 22. 

Nurses will receive an average across-the-board pay increase of 12.6 percent over the life of the contract, with some seeing increases up to 48.5 percent, according to National Nurses Organizing Committee/ National Nurses United, which represents 450 nurses at UChicago Medicine Ingalls. 

Additionally, the contract provides six weeks of paid family leave for birth or adoption of a child and will establish a professional practice committee to address staffing and patient care issues, according to the union.

"We are clear that this four-year contract will lead to improvements in patient care at Ingalls, as the nurses will now have a real say in the decision-making process," Lisa Vaughns, a registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit, said in a news release.

In a statement shared with the Chicago Tribune, hospital administrators thanked union representatives "for working together to find an equitable compromise for the good of our patients, our community and each other."

UChicago Medicine Ingalls nurses voted to unionize in October 2019.


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