Message to Staff: INA and SEIU Negotiations Update
September 19, 2020
Dear UIC Campus Community,
We are writing to update you on ongoing discussions with the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) and the Service Employees Internal Union (SEIU) Local 73 to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements, and to share some information about the status of the current strikes.
INA: STATUS OF NEGOTIATIONS
Despite marathon good-faith bargaining sessions for the last four days, lasting late into the night, we are disappointed that we still have not reached a tentative agreement with the INA.
However, we are making progress.
Over the course of this week, the parties have made progress on a number of outstanding economic and non-economic issues. UI Health has also offered amendments to its patient acuity-based staffing proposal and expanded its proposal regarding disaster planning; both in response to INA’s positions. The parties have nearly reached agreement on these important issues. As part of this commitment to working with our nurses to optimize the staffing model to improve patient outcomes, UI Health has agreed to hire additional nursing staff. We all agree that this is critical to our mission and to efficiently staff for safe patient care. This staffing investment will be a win for nurses, a win for the hospital and most importantly, a win for our patients and our community.
With regard to compensation, under our current proposal our nurses will continue to receive top compensation. We have offered to continue annual anniversary increases, which average 2.44%, and up to $1,000 in incentive bonuses each year, if hospital nursing quality care indicators are met. On average, UI Health nurses earn over $20,000 a year more in base hourly compensation than their counterparts, and under our proposals, they would continue to remain in the top 10% for pay compared to their peers in Chicago, Illinois and throughout the U.S.
INA has informed us that as of 7 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, their members intend to resume work. This does not mean a tentative contract agreement has been reached—we are still in active negotiations -- but nurses will report to work under the existing terms of their previous contract. Negotiations will resume on Monday, September 21.
SEIU: STATUS OF NEGOTIATIONS
Bargaining sessions with the SEIU were held five days this week. Unfortunately, union leadership has shown limited willingness to compromise on issues of compensation.
SEIU has not communicated to us any changes in their current work stoppage.
We mutually agreed to conclude bargaining Friday in respect of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. SEIU negotiations will resume on Sunday, September 20.
We remain committed to continued bargaining for as long as it takes to reach fair and equitable agreements with all our valued colleagues and caregivers. We look forward to the possibility of swift and fair resolutions and will keep you updated.
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
Chief Executive Officer, University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics