Nurses at UChicago Medicine Ingalls celebrate first contract victory
Increases racial equity, expands community opportunities, improves patient care
Registered nurses at UChicago Medicine Ingalls in Harvey, Ill., a south suburb of Chicago, have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their historic first contract, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today.
“We are clear that this four-year contract will lead to improvements in patient care at Ingalls as the nurses will now have a real say in the decision-making process,” said Lisa Vaughns, a registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit.
Nurses also note that this contract includes an important and historic commitment from management to hire associate degree nurses.
“We are very proud we were able to secure these opportunities for associate degree nurses, who are too often shut out of acute-care hospital settings although they prove themselves to be fully competent as they must pass the same board exam as nurses with bachelor’s degrees,” said Donna Dubois, RN. “This important commitment will go a long way toward providing opportunities for nurses who are graduating from the surrounding community colleges.”
Highlights of the contract include:
- Safe staffing provisions, including the creation of a new resource nurse role to provide an “extra set of hands” to help with patient care 24/7 throughout the hospital.
- The establishment of a Professional Practice Committee (PPC) that is recognized by management to address issues nurses have with staffing and patient care. The agreement will also create a Workplace Violence Committee, an Infectious Disease Committee, and an Acuity Committee to better address issues that affect nurse and patient safety.
- Economic gains to help with nurse recruitment and retention, including the establishment of a fair and transparent wage grid that sets salary based on years of experience, rather than market fluctuations or management whim. Average across-the-board increase over the life of the contract is 12.6 percent, with some nurses seeing increases as much as 48.5 percent. Six weeks of paid family leave for birth or adoption of a child, regardless of gender of parent.
NNOC/NNU represents 450 nurses at UChicago Medicine Ingalls. The Ingalls nurses voted to join the union in October 2019.
National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the country, with more than 170,000 members nationwide.