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County averts nurses' strike

Thursday, June 29, 2006
Pioneer Press
by JOHN HUSTON | STAFF WRITER

A week before a scheduled strike, the 1,800 registered nurses in Cook County's health services bureau reached a contract agreement with county officials.
Negotiators for both Cook County and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, which represents the nurses' union, came to agreement June 22.
The contract, which still must be ratified by both sides, "achieves the nurses' primary goals," according to an NNOC statement.
Those goals included parity in compensation with other area hospitals, a stronger collective voice for RNs to advocate for patients and to continue comprehensive health coverage.
A strike deadline - originally set for June 23 but was pushed back to June 30 - loomed over the negotiations and threatened to wreak havoc on operations at the county's three hospitals, more than 20 community clinics, four public health offices, the county jail and the juvenile detention center.
The one-day strike was approved by 97 percent of the union membership in March.
The nurses have been without a contract since November 2004.
In May 2005, county nurses voted to leave their former union, the Illinois Nurses Association, in favor the California Nurses Association and its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee.




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