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Nurses' union threatens strike over alleged layoffs by UCMC in Chicago

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 18, 2019

The union rejected this and other proposals, and notified hospital leadership Thursday of its intention to strike for one day on November 26. It says it will continue to bargain but will strike if an impasse cannot be met. The notice was issued 10 days in advance in accordance with the law to allow UCMC to make necessary preparations for the strike, including postponing elective procedures.

If it does take place, the strike will be the second one for Chicago nurses this year. Approximately 2,200 nurses represented by the NNOC/NNU left their jobs at three hospitals in Hyde Park in September to strike in a one-day demonstration.

“This is a strike against our patients and their families,” said UCMC’s dean, Dr. Kenneth Polonsky, and president, Sharon O'Keefe in a letter to staff on Thursday. “This is a strike against our community … this is a strike against neighborhoods that rely on us for lifesaving emergency and trauma care. This is a strike against our physicians, our respiratory therapists, our pharmacists, our nursing support assistants and other clinicians who will be here during the holiday — rather than spending time with their families over Thanksgiving — to care for the patients the union is ordering our nurses to walk out on.”

Two bargaining sessions have been scheduled prior to the strike. The union and hospital also plan to meet once more on the day of the strike, as well as in two additional sessions on December 11 and 18.

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