Nurses in Joliet are asking for members of the public’s help Monday.
The callout comes after AMITA Health reportedly hired hundreds of out-of-state replacement nurses in Joliet to fill in for striking nurses. AMITA Health reportedly hired a recruiting firm that reached out to out-of-state nurses to fill temporary positions during a planned strike, in violation of state permitting regulations. Nurses were required by law to issue a 10-day notice to the hospital prior to striking.
Sources report at least 200 replacement nurse have already been hired with travel costs and hotel stays paid for under the umbrella of AMITA Health.
“AMITA is prepared to spend millions of dollars fighting the nurses’ union but refuses to invest in hiring enough nurses to provide safe care for the patients,” said Pat Meade, RN, a lead union nurse who has been involved in all the negotiations.
Over 700 plus nurses continue to protest what the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) is calling illegal acts by AMITA. The alleged illegal acts by AMITA include intimidation and threats of termination to prevent nurses from exercising their rights under federal law.
Nurses in Joliet had been working on good faith without a contract since May 9th while negotiations continued. Monday marked the third consecutive day of protests outside of AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.
Nurses first hit the picket line during the early morning hours of Independence Day. Monday marks Day 3 of the strike.
As irony would have it, a car ride away, the Village of New Lenox held a parade honoring those same first responders the first day of the strike in Joliet. Since then, other area Unions have joined the nurses Union on the picket lines, including the representatives from the Joliet Fire Department.
There is no indication of how long the strike will last at 333 Madison St. in Joliet.
Nurses have a scheduled negotiation session this Wednesday, July 8th with AMITA officials.