MEDICAL DISTRICT — Following a weeklong strike, the Illinois Nurses Association and University of Illinois Hospital have reached a tentative four-year contract agreement.
The union and hospital announced the agreement Thursday. The strike ended over the weekend. Throughout negotiations, the nurses called for safe staffing and improved personal protection for nurses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The contract includes hiring 160 full-time nurses over the next year to cut down on caseloads, improved wages and more precautions to ensure safety of nurses and patients.
The 1,400 nurses represented by the union are scheduled to vote to ratify the contract Monday through Wednesday. Union leaders will announce the result of the vote Oct. 1.
The contact, which would be in effect from August 2020 through August 2024, will be ratified if the majority of members vote in favor.
“We are gratified to achieve this hard-fought victory after months of negotiations. This represents a vast improvement compared to where we were before the strike and we are happy to see that the hospital recognized the importance of safe staffing,” association President Doris Carroll said in a statement.
The agreement comes after nearly four months of negotiations.
Hospital CEO Michael Zenn said he was “pleased” with the agreement.
“We are grateful that our nurses chose to return to work on September 19, following a seven-day strike. This is in the best interest of our patients and our UI Health family,” Zenn said in a statement.
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