Illinois Nurses To Vote on Joining California Nurses Association
The Illinois Labor Relations Board on Tuesday said nurses at Cook County's Stroger Hospital can vote on whether to join the California Nurses Association or remain with the Illinois Nurses Association, which is working to negotiate a contract, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Stroger Hospital's 900 nurses began looking for new union representation after they said INA was not addressing grievances, including understaffing and so-called floating between wards.
According to the Tribune, "the decision is a big win for the California union, which vows to try to sign up more nurses across the country." However, five other unions are "scrambling" to represent nurses at Stroger, and CNA's efforts at the hospital have "touched a nerve" with INA, the Tribune reports.
Edward Burke, a labor lawyer and administrator of INA, said INA "fell down on the job" and deserves the criticism it receives from nurses. According to Burke, financial trouble at the union five years ago caused some cutbacks. By "winning a good contract," the union hopes to regain the nurses' trust, he said. Burke added that a contract agreement is not expected to be reached before the current contract expires.
INA said it would appeal the ILRB decision (Franklin, Chicago Tribune, 12/1).