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Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Nurses strike ends in Joliet, return to work Wednesday

JOLIET – Nurses in Joliet voted to ratify AMITA Health’s latest offer from the hospital  Monday, ending their strike.  Nurses will return to work at AMITA Health St. Joesph Medical Center in Joliet on Wednesday.

The offer was voted on over the weekend through Monday. Nurses have been striking since July 4th in Joliet.  Since that time, according to the Illinois Nurses Association (INA), AMITA had bussed in several out of state workers to fill the needs of the hospital.

As part of the offer, nurses asked to not face reprisals for strike activities, which AMITA Health has reportedly agreed to. It comes at a time when cases in the pandemic are once again on the rise statewide in Illinois.

A main issue surrounding the strike, according to the Nurse’s Union, was adequate staffing levels in a new contract.  Nurses in Joliet had been working in good faith without a contract for over a month when they went on strike.  Pat Meade, a nurse and head negotiator for the Union, said this week it was “quite clear”  AMITA would not be meeting their demands.

Details of the new contract have not been released.

INA officials reported the same cost of the 720 replacement nurses for one week would have covered a 10% staffing increase for an entire year, costing nearly $5 Million Dollars.

Nurses were on strike in Joliet for just over two weeks.

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