U of Chicago nurses set Sept. 20 strike

The union representing nurses at University of Chicago Medicine has called a one-day strike beginning at 7 a.m. Sept. 20, a hospital administrator confirmed Sept. 9.

The strike notice affects about 2,300 nurses represented by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United.

"Unfortunately, NNOC/NNU is forcing NNU-represented nurses to stop working and walk out on patients despite the University of Chicago Medical Center's good faith efforts and compromises put forward at the bargaining table," University of Chicago Medicine CNO Debra Albert, MSN, RN, wrote in an email to nurses posted online.

The nurses' contract expired in April, and the union said it would call a strike if issues raised in negotiations weren't resolved.

Nurses said they want University of Chicago Medicine to address what they called chronic staffing issues, inadequate security protocols and plans and insufficient equipment.

But Ms. Albert said the union ended negotiations without offering any new proposals even though the health system made concessions on pay and benefits. She questioned why the union issued a strike notice when more bargaining dates were schedule.

The union has said it did not want to call a strike but would do what's necessary to address patient care issues that keep nurses from providing the best care possible.

The hospital said it will make sure patient care isn't interrupted during the strike and will hire temporary nurses to replace the striking ones.

More information on negotiations is available here.  

 

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