Fall Bargaining Update – Emily Chase

Dear Nursing Team Members:

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is almost here and our hardworking bargaining teams have been meeting at the table for roughly two months now. I’ve been so impressed by the thoughtfulness, respectfulness, candor, and collaboration we’ve seen throughout this negotiation. While there’s certainly more work to do, I’m particularly proud of the progress made so far. Both sides are working together and building a strong foundation for a fair and equitable contract that meets the needs of nurses, our growing institution, and the patients who rely on us for care.

However, since the current NNU contract is expiring Nov. 25, I wanted to share a short video that provides everyone with an update on what’s happened so far, what to expect in the days ahead, and how you and your colleagues can stay informed and follow along as we continue to move forward.

Crafting a contract is a long process with lots of back and forth. There inevitably will be give and take on both sides — work that absolutely will continue even after a contract expires.

Our teams have had eight face-to-face sessions since the collective bargaining process began Sept. 14. We have three more sessions scheduled after Thanksgiving and into early December, and more dates will be scheduled soon. Both sides have presented dozens of proposals and reached tentative agreements on seven non-economic areas. There’s also been important conversations on key topics like workplace violence and safety, tuition reimbursement, staffing, preceptor work, scheduling, and on-call duty.

Like we have throughout this whole process, the University of Chicago Medical Center is committed to transparency, collaboration, and good-faith dialogue. The UCMC bargaining team will continue to provide updates after each session, and I’ll keep sharing regular messages with you and holding town halls where you can ask questions. In addition, we’ve launched www.ucmcnurses.org, which we’ll use to share information about the bargaining process and the important role our nursing team plays in our health system and medical center.

Speaking of town halls, I want to remind you to attend the upcoming sessions. You should all have calendar invitations for these Zoom webinars, which will be held:

  • November 20 at 12 p.m. 
  • November 21 at 8 a.m. 
  • November 27 at 4 p.m. 

I’m optimistic the positive momentum will continue and we’ll reach a fair and equitable agreement that allows us to continue to attract exceptional nurses who meaningfully contribute to our institution and its reputation for excellence.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. And thanks to each one of you.