Cook County health care staff to strike next 7 days

Prepare dinner County personnel and nurses in Chicago plan to strike on or after June 24, in accordance to the unions that symbolize them. 

The strike will contain nurses represented by the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of Countrywide Nurses United, as well as social personnel and other staff represented by SEIU Neighborhood 73 who do the job at Cook dinner County Wellness, Chicago’s community health care procedure. 

SEIU Local 73 stated personnel will strike at Stroger and Provident hospitals, as nicely as at the Cook County Jail and county highway maintenance services. 

Union members said they do not want to strike but come to feel they have to have to. 

“I voted to strike for the reason that it is time for alter,” Eugenia Harris, a ward clerk at Stroger, mentioned in a information launch. “We are combating for a contract that offers safe and sound and satisfactory staffing. A deal that gives equal pay out for equivalent work. A deal that will make Cook County an employer of selection.”

News of the strike arrives for the duration of negotiations for both equally unions. SEIU Area 73 has been in negotiations for additional than 9 months, and the Countrywide Nurses Organizing Committee has been in negotiations since October.

The Nationwide Nurses Organizing Committee stated the most significant sticking position for nurses in negotiations is a failure to handle persistent staffing shortages through Cook County Wellness.

In a news launch, Consuelo Vargas, an unexpected emergency room RN at Stroger, mentioned: “A lot of sufferers have absent with no care through the pandemic and are now starting to search for treatment method for their ongoing clinical situations. However we are continuously understaffed, and because of that, we are losing knowledgeable nurses.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle acknowledged the strike notices and resolved workers’ fears.

“Cook County absolutely understands our nurses are placing around staffing shortages. Enable us be crystal clear: this is a mutually shared concern. Prior to COVID, there was a nationwide lack of nurses. The pandemic has only compounded this lack — exponentially,” Ms. Preckwinkle mentioned in a statement shared with Becker’s. “Now, not only do we have a nursing lack, but because of the devastation wreaked by the pandemic, we have shortages in critical healthcare and to start with responder positions.”

She also referenced the other issues confronted for the duration of the pandemic, such as giving particular protecting devices, teleworking and pandemic fork out. She reported Prepare dinner County “has been ready to operate by these challenges with our union companions although working with COVID, floods and so much additional.”

Additionally, Ms. Preckwinkle dealt with workers’ worries similar to a proposed maximize in their staff contributions for healthcare. She claimed an maximize has not been sought in 6 many years, but it is desired in this most up-to-date bargaining spherical.

“Cook dinner County will continue to cut price in excellent faith to attain good, reasonable and equitable collective bargaining agreements with all the unions representing its staff,” claimed Ms. Preckwinkle.

SEIU Area 73 signifies 2,449 employees in Prepare dinner County, which include staff in Cook County Well being at Stroger and Provident. The National Nurses Organizing Committee represents 1,250 nurses all through Cook County Health.   

All Cook dinner County personnel represented by SEIU Local 73 are scheduled to strike indefinitely on or immediately after June 24. The Nationwide Nurses Arranging Committee said it will strike for one particular working day, on or just after June 24.

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