200 nurses strike at Chicago hospital

About 200 nurses at Community First Medical Center in Chicago went on a one-day strike July 26 amid contract negotiations with the hospital, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The striking nurses, who are from the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United union, are demanding increased staffing and supplies. Safe staffing is the biggest sticking point in negotiations, according to the report.

"It's not right for our patients to put on a call light and no one answers it because a nurse has seven or eight other patients," Patricia Ryan, RN, who is on the bargaining committee, told the Tribune.

Community First interim CEO Jeremiah Leonard criticized the nurses' decision to hold a one-day strike, arguing that there has been progress in negotiations. 

"Given the great progress that both sides have made in negotiations over the past months, a strike notice seems particularly out of place," Mr. Leonard said, according to CBS Chicago. "Just yesterday, both sides agreed to a wages package that will set the minimum base salary for our regular nurses at $30 an hour, and all of our regular nurses will be receiving raises of at least 4.25 percent. Ultimately, we think a one day strike is bad for our patients and our community."

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