Bargaining Update #12

Dear Fellow UCMC Nurses:

Today we completed our 12th bargaining session with the NNU bargaining team.  

I have a lot of information to share with you. I’ve done my best to be concise, but a lot is happening – so find a comfortable spot to read and catch up.

I wanted to start today revisiting a concept that we have shared throughout this negotiating process – I think it’s worth revisiting. The goal, during these negotiations, for all involved, is to ensure we come to agreement on a fair and equitable contract. The back-and-forth and work for getting to that contract is the actual bargaining process. As you think about where we are today and what the outcome might be, remember, we are still in the working phase. (In the spirit of transparency, I must admit I was tempted to make a nursing care plan analogy here – but I decided to spare you.)

Today UCMC passed a comprehensive response to NNU’s initial economic proposal from 11/30/2023 and 12/4/2023.  

NNU’s initial proposal, and our response, included wage increases, differentials, IHR pay rates, extra service pay for newly represented nurses, certification bonuses, parking for second shift nurses, and select benefits. We covered a lot of ground today and I’ve done my best to summarize highlights.

Wage Increases

In response to the initial offer by NNU, our wage increase proposal would give nurses annual raises of 3.25% during the contract’s first year and 3% for each of the following three years. That amounts to a 12.8% salary increase when compounded over the life of the contract.

In-House Registry

We recognize our IHR nurses are integral to our operations and have proposed two increases over the life of the contract: $1.50 at the end of year 1 and $1.50 at the end of year 3.


To provide the training and experience our staff needs, we will continue the current $6.00 differential for Charge and Preceptor duties as provided in the interim agreement we reached with NNU during the pandemic. At that point, UCMC has proposed to change those differentials to $4.00 / hour. UCMC and NNU alike recognize the value our float teams add to the operations of the organization and are recommending an increase in the float team differential to $2.50 / hour.

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Today we proposed to memorialize our side letter from December 30, 2021, which will establish this day as a paid holiday. We are also proposing that nurses be permitted to take Juneteenth as a personal holiday.

Extra Service Pay for Salaried Nurses 

Today we proposed a new strategy for our newly organized salaried nurses that would change our current compensatory time structure to an Extra Service Pay (ESP) structure. These nurses would receive extra service pay at straight time for all hours worked over their budgeted FTE.


To support our nurses who work an evening shift, UCMC made a proposal on parking that would make additional parking spots available to nurses who consistently work second shift.  

At the table we also discussed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) proposal for the emergency departments at length. Both sides recognize the challenges with implementing this very important program for some of our most vulnerable patients. UCMC also recognizes that this work requires a passion, and after discussion at the table, have prepared an electronic pass that will address some of the larger concerns expressed in today’s discussion.

This is the hard work that comes with negotiations and look forward to continued progress on the 19th when we meet again to continue bargaining.

Jeff Murphy, DNP, RN, CEN, NEA-BC
Vice President Comer Children’s Hospital
Associate Chief Nursing Officer
UChicago Medicine