Univer­sity of Illi­nois Hospi­tal nurses set to strike Sept. 12

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MITCH DUDEK, STAFF RE­PORTER mdudek@sun­times.com | @mitch­dudek

Nurses at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois Hospi­tal an­nounced Wed­nes­day they plan to go on strike Sept. 12.

“Bar­ring a break­through in ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween nurses and the Univer­sity of Illi­nois Hospi­tal, more than 1,300 nurses will be­gin a seven-day strike at 7 a.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 12,” ac­cord­ing to the Illi­nois Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents the nurses.

News of the ex­act time of the strike comes nearly two weeks af­ter 995 nurses voted in fa­vor of strik­ing if the hospi­tal doesn’t agree to lim­its on the num­ber of pa­tients un­der the care of each nurse and hir­ing more nurses. The nurses’ three-year con­tract was set to ex­pire Aug. 24 but was ex­tended into Septem­ber.

“Ne­go­ti­a­tions be­gan ear­lier this sum­mer but af­ter 19 ne­go­ti­at­ing ses­sions, the hospi­tal re­fuses to en­gage in a sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sion about achiev­ing safe staffing by set­ting a limit on the num­ber of pa­tients that can be as­signed to each nurse, a pol­icy also known as ‘safe pa­tient lim­its,’ ” Doris Car­roll said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day. Car­roll leads the INA and is a Univer­sity of Illi­nois Hospi­tal nurse.

Hospi­tal CEO Michael Zenn said Wed­nes­day he was “dis­ap­pointed” to learn of the de­vel­op­ment.

“We are hope­ful that both par­ties will reach an agree­ment that re­flects our com­mit­ment to our nurses while be­ing fis­cally sus­tain­able for the hospi­tal,” he said in a state­ment.

UNIVER­SITY OF ILLI­NOIS HOSPI­TAL & HEALTH SCIENCES SYS­TEM

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