CHICAGO (CBS) — A planned one-day strike by nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center has been called off as a tentative agreement has been reached.
The hospital announced Saturday morning that it had reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with National Nurses United. Thus, the strike that had been planned for Tuesday was called off.
“The nurses are pleased to see the issues successfully resolved and will release further details on the agreement following ratification,” National Nurses United said in a statement.
The union representing approximately 2,200 nurses at the U of C Medical Center notified the hospital last week that they had planned to hold a one-day strike on Tuesday, Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving.
But the hospital had told the nurses that if they walked off the job, it would keep them out for five days – due to the need to provide minimum guarantees to temporary nurses who would have been brought in to replace the union nurses.
Ahead of the anticipated strike, the U of C Medical Center went on ambulance bypass for pediatric patients on Monday and for adult patients on Wednesday. Its emergency rooms remained open to walk-in patients.
The hospital is the only Level 1 trauma center on the South Side of Chicago, meaning until it lifted the ambulance bypass, the most seriously injured patients on the South Side would have to be taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in southwest suburban Oak Lawn, or one of several trauma centers on the North Side.
UCMC also transferred 50 premature infants from its neonatal intensive care unit, 20 other children in its pediatric intensive care unit, and some high-risk pregnant patients to other hospitals ahead of the strike. The hospital also is rescheduling elective surgeries.
The hospital also locked nurses out for five days in September when they staged another one-day strike over the lack of a contract. The facility also was placed on ambulance bypass for several days due to the September strike.