About 2,300 University of Chicago Medicine nurses are one step closer to walking off the job, after voting Thursday night to authorize their union to call a strike.
The vote allows the union to call a one-day strike at any time, without going back to the nurses for approval, said Talisa Hardin, a nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center and a chief nurse representative for the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United.
The union must give the hospital 10 days notice before a strike. The nurses work at the U. of C. Medical Center and several of the system’s outpatient clinics.
The hospital’s contract with the union expired in April, and the two sides are in negotiations. “So far we haven’t been making a lot of progress so we’re hoping with this strike vote we’ll see some progress happening at the table,” Hardin said.
The nurses want lower nurse-to-patient ratios and more security officers at the hospital, among other things. “Right now there are days where nurses have to take care of more patients than they can safely take care of,” Hardin said.