University of Illinois Medical Center nurses reject contract, vote to authorize strike

Associated Press, December 22, 2011 Chicago - Nurses at University of Illinois Medical Center have voted to authorize a strike as recommended by union negotiators. 

Illinois Nurses Association spokesman Chris Martin says a vote ended late Thursday with an overwhelming rejection of the proposed contract.

 A vote to authorize a strike doesn't mean there'll be a strike for sure. Thursday's vote will guide negotiators when talks resume January 4. 

Association labor attorney Alice Johnson says contract talks began in 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.

Hospital spokesman Bill Burton says management has a good relationship with nursing staff and hospital officials are optimistic that can continue.
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