CHICAGO - Nurses stapled protest signs and painted banners outside the University of Illinois Hospital Friday afternoon.
The Union representing 1400 nurses is preparing to strike.
“If we do not have a deal by tomorrow, we’re walking at 7 a.m. Our members are ready to do that,” said Dulce Leyva of the Illinois Nurses Association.
A Cook County judge dealt the hospital a partial victory, granting a temporary restraining order which will force about 500 critical care nurses to go to work even if there is a strike.
The nurses say there are two main problems they are looking to solve.
They want better protection against COVID-19 and fewer patients per nurse.
“Thirty percent of respiratory got sick. Fifteen to 20 percent initially got sick in my unit,” said Jeanette Alvarez-Basel, a critical care nurse.
In a statement, a hospital spokesperson says:
“UI Health will do everything reasonably within our power to avert a strike and we are prepared to continue bargaining as long as it takes to reach a successful agreement.”
In addition, the SEIU union is threatening to strike all 4000 of its hospital employees on Monday.
Negotiations are continuing on that contract as well.