Press Release

Registered Nurses to Return to University of Chicago Medical Center Saturday Morning Despite Lockout

UCMC nurses

Community Members, Faith Leaders and Patients to Join RNs in Show of Solidarity

Registered nurses will return to University of Chicago Medical Center tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 21, ready to go to work. They will be accompanied by community members, patients, and faith leaders who are expressing their solidarity with the nurses, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU). The nurses expect to be locked out of work by hospital management.

“We are ready to return to work to care for our patients, just as we cared for our patients when we advocated for the safe staffing and optimal patient care on the strike line, ” said Helen Bernard, a registered nurse who works in the medical intensive care unit.

What: RNs Return to Work
When: Saturday, Sept. 21  6:45 a.m. 
Where: In front of Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine
  5758 S Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

The nurses are in the midst of a one-day strike which began 7:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 and is scheduled to end at 6:59 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. The nurses held the strike after contract negotiations broke down when management issued an ultimatum that failed to address the safety and care needs of a majority of the patients. However, the hospital has chosen to lock the nurses out of work for the next four days.

The Rev. Tom Gaulke, a Lutheran pastor and an auxiliary professor of public church at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, will lead the procession of nurses and community members in prayer at Saturday morning’s action.

“The worshipers of money at [UCMC] are bringing out the nurses to sacrifice on their altar to greed, demanding of them more than is just, sucking the energy out of these compassionate and loving people who work day in and day out to care for us and our loved ones in our most vulnerable times,” said Gaulke.  

NNOC/NNU represents 2,200 nurses at UCMC.