University of Illinois-Chicago LPNs walk off the job

Licensed practical nurses at Chicago-based University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics went on strike Nov. 15 amid contract negotiations, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The 35 nurses, who are represented by the Illinois Nurses Association, said they seek job protections and fair pay, according to the Tribune. Registered nurses are not striking.

"We provide hands-on care, we are advocates for these patients, we care about these patients, we go above and beyond, and we do all we can to provide safe and effective care toward our patients," Ramona Morales, a licensed practical nurse with the system and a union steward, told the Tribune. "It is a slap in the face, not just to us, but to these patients and communities, the way UI Health is responding to this."

The strike comes after about a year of unsuccessful talks at the bargaining table.

University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics CEO Mike Zenn told the Tribune that the hospital prepared for the walkout "to ensure patients' continued care and safety."

"We value the critical role LPNs play in providing patient care, and we are committed to continue working to reach a mutually acceptable agreement," Mr. Zenn said.

Editor's note: This article was updated Nov. 19.

More articles on human capital and risk: 

Massachusetts union regroups after defeat of nurse staffing initiative
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Hospitals and unions: 8 recent conflicts, agreements

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