University of Illinois Medical Center nurses voting on contract, strike authority

Associated Press, December 22, 2011 Nurses at University of Illinois Medical Center are voting on whether to authorize a strike as recommended by union negotiators.

A two-day contract vote ends Thursday evening. Results will guide negotiators when talks resume January 4.

Labor attorney Alice Johnson of the Illinois Nurses Association says contract talks began in early June. She says the hospital has made a final offer that takes away some overtime, incentive pay and grievance benefits important to the more than 1,100 nurses affected.

She says nurses are satisfied with raises being offered: 2 percent in the contract's first year, and 2 percent and 1.5 percent in the second and third years.

Hospital spokesman Bill Burton says management has a good relationship with nursing staff and hospital officials are optimistic that can continue. Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved.