Health care workers in the Service Employees International Union joined the Illinois Nurses Association strike at the University of Illinois Chicago Hospital on September 15, claiming unfair labor practices by the institution.
Footage of the strike shows demonstrators from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 carrying signs reading “on strike” and “racism is a public health crisis.”
Local news reported the strike began with the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) going on a seven-day walkout beginning on September 12, following stalled attempts to negotiate a new contract with the hospital.
The nurses sought a new contract with improved COVID-19 protections and limits on the number of patients per nurse.
The SEIU added, “We went into this demanding that we wanted to see significant yearly cost of living increases, market wages, $15 minimum, hazard pay, and steps for the professionals, and steps for people at the top of the scale. After bargaining for 6 days straight over countless hours, management refused to budge on economics.”
In a media statement regarding the INA strike, Michael Zenn, CEO of University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics, wrote: “We are disappointed that despite progress in this week’s lengthy negotiations, including a 14-hour session on Friday, September 11, we were not able to reach an agreement with the INA.” Credit: Helena Duncan via Storyful