More than 2,000 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) will go on strike Friday starting at 7 a.m. The National Nurses United Union announced the move Wednesday night after negotiations between them and hospital management went south. The hospital’s contract with the union expired in April.
UCMC says the issue is over incentive pay for future job applicants. However, the union says the problem is larger than that. It even listed two core strike issues, broad access for union business agents to all UCMC conference rooms, and a ban on the call time for newly organized nurses, even if those nurses are needed for patient care needs.
Hospital management says the medical center is not accepting any patients for the time being. In fact, they’re asking ambulances to take them to other area hospitals.
Several dozen patients have already been transferred to other hospitals in anticipation of Friday’s planned strike. UCMC has scheduled hundreds of nurses, who are not part of the union, to fill in. The strike is supposed to last five days.
Talks between the union and UCMC officials are scheduled to happen on September 25th, the same day union nurses will return to work.09/19/19 10:29AM