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Cook County reaches tentative contract with nurses
Nurses reach tentative deal

Friday, June 26, 2015
Chicago Tribune
by Ameet Sachdev

 

Nurses reach tentative deal
 

The union representing more than 1,200 nurses at the Cook County Health and Hospital System said on June 26, 2015, it has reached a tentative labor agreement.

The union representing more than 1,200 nurses at the Cook County Health and Hospital System said on June 26, 2015, it has reached a tentative labor agreement.

(Chuck Berman / Chicago Tribune)

The union representing more than 1,200 nurses at the Cook County Health and Hospital System said Friday that it has reached a tentative labor agreement nearly three years after the last contract expired.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee said nurses would get a 10.75 percent pay increase over the life of the contract, including retroactive pay. When it's ratified, nurses will get a 2 percent raise and another 2 percent in December, said Marti Smith, a union official. The contract would expire in 2017.

The proposed contract will be considered by nurses during a vote scheduled July 1 and 2. The contract also requires the approval of the hospital system board and Cook County commissioners, Smith said.

A spokeswoman at the hospital system confirmed that a tentative agreement had been reached.

The tentative deal also addresses nurses' concerns about staffing levels, mandatory overtime, fatigue and protocols concerning infectious diseases, Smith said.

"Nurses really wanted to fix our staffing problems," Smith said. "When there is inadequate staff to care for patients, it's very stressful."

The nurses have been working without a contract since Nov. 30, 2012. The two sides have been negotiating off and on since then, and nurses threatened to strike earlier this year. About 700 nurses in the union work at Stroger Hospital.

 



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