Mount Sinai Hospital workers join Chicago teachers strike in solidarity

Mount Sinai Hospital unionized healthcare staff joined Chicago Public Schools workers Oct. 19 as they continued their strike amid contract talks with city negotiators, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hospital workers promised to help pressure Chicago officials to negotiate a fair deal for students and school workers in the city, the Sun-Times reported. Chicago-based Mount Sinai Hospital is immediately east of Douglas Park, where city teachers and support staff rallied.

"We believe that employers in Chicago have a moral responsibility to provide good jobs to every worker and to support healthy, vibrant neighborhoods everywhere — not just on the North Side," Gregory Kelley, president of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois, which represents certified nursing assistants, housekeepers, dietary workers and others at Mount Sinai and Schwab Rehabilitation hospitals, told the newspaper. "That's why we're standing in solidarity to say it’s time to respect all Chicagoans and invest in all of our kids, healthcare workers and neighborhoods to close the racial gap in this city."

Dan Regan, a Mount Sinai Hospital spokesperson, told Becker's Hospital Review the hospital did not have an estimate as far as how many hospital workers joined in solidarity, because the rally occurred away from the hospital "and most people were on their own personal time." James Muhammad, communications director for SEIU Healthcare, estimated more than 150 people attended, a mixture of SEIU Healthcare, SEIU Local 73 and Chicago Teachers Union representatives.

More than 25,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers, paraprofessionals, clinicians, nurses and librarians walked off the job beginning Oct. 17 amid contract talks with city negotiators, according to the Chicago Teachers Union, which represents the workers. Members of SEIU 73, which represents, 7,500 Chicago Public Schools staff, have also walked off the job. Contract talks resumed Oct. 21.

 

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