University of Chicago Medical Center reaches tentative deal with nurses union, strike canceled

CHICAGO -- The University of Chicago Medical Center has reached a tentative agreement with its nurses union on a new labor contract, averting a strike that was set to start next week, hospital officials announced on Saturday morning.

"I am pleased to announce that representatives from the University of Chicago Medical Center and the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United reached a tentative agreement early Saturday morning on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement," Chief Nursing Officer Debra Albert wrote in a statement. "As a result of this agreement, the NNOC/NNU has called off its planned strike."

A representative for the nurses union confirmed that the strike planned for Nov. 26 has been called off. About 2,200 nurses represented by the union previously walked off the job for a strike on Sept. 20.

The tentative agreement has resolved all outstanding issues and nurses will vote on it on Tuesday, according to the union.

The Hyde Park hospital closed its adult and pediatric trauma centers earlier this week in anticipation of the work stoppage.

The hospital is once again accepting ambulances and will resume normal operations Saturday, according to UChicago Medicine spokeswoman Ashley Heher. Patients who were transferred to other hospitals will have the option of returning to the University of Chicago Medical Center if they choose, but will not be forced to do so.

Heher declined to provide details on the agreement that was reached with the union. The union did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2019.)