University of Chicago Medical Center nurses are set to go on a one-day strike on April 30.
National Nurses United (NNU), the union representing the U of C Medical Center nurses, made the strike announcement on Friday. The nurses -- who saw their labor agreement expire at the end of October and have since been working without a contract -- voted in January to authorize a one-day strike.
Some of the sticking points in the contract talks have centered around staffing levels and rotating shifts.
"Rotating shifts is still an issue," NNU's Midwest Director Jan Rodolfo told The Chicago Maroon. "Nurses cannot be at their sharpest if they are working multiple shifts on end. In fact, one of my co-workers, who is a member of the bargaining team [the nine nurses who also made the strike announcement] was rotated. When she drove home, she was so tired that she fell asleep, crashed her car, and then fell asleep again after the accident. At work, this translates into a patient safety issue."
In response to the strike announcement, U of C Medical Center chief nursing officer Debra Albert said in a statement, "It is troubling that NNU would call a strike and take nurses away from their jobs and patients, particularly before the NNU and UCMC have finished negotiations."
"UCMC didn't want a strike," she added, "and we have negotiated in good faith for many months."