University of Chicago Medical Center nurses hope to avoid another strike as negotiations resume

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nurses are hoping to avoid another strike when negotiations with the University of Chicago Medical Center resume on Monday.

More than a week ago, 2,200 members of National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United agreed to a 24-hour strike after contract negotiations broke down with the hospital.

The University of Chicago Medical Center's contract with the National Nurses Union expired in April. The nurses are demanding better staffing at the hospital, saying that shortages are putting patients at risk.

The one-day strike was followed by a four-day lockout because the hospital hired temporary nurses.

RELATED: University of Chicago Medical Center nurses go on strike

The thousands of workers who went on strike returned to work last Wednesday. But they could strike again if both sides cannot reach an agreement.

Lisa Sandoval has been a nurse for 41 years, spending half of her career at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

"I hope we get back to the bargaining table and make some progress in terms of staffing," Sandoval, who's part of the negotiating team, said last week. "That is our core issue. It has been and continues to be until we come to some a resolution."

RELATED: University of Chicago Medical Center moves patients to other hospitals in anticipation for nurses' strike

The hospital has said that the fall out is over incentive pay.

Hospital officials said the hospital has been negotiating with nurses since March, and that the nurse staffing levels are the best in the state.

Both sides will return to the bargaining table on Monday with a federal mediator.
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