RNs - Illinois

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Exec on mission to mend hospital finances

Debra Pressey, News-Gazette, August 14, 2005

Urbana - It's an early August morning, and David Bertauski is seeing red - $800,000 worth of it.

That's far from the biggest deficit he's seen in a hospital, he says.

But this one - $800,000 in combined losses for the year to date at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville - is his current mission to turn around. ... Exec

Gov. Blagojevich announces almost $240,000 in funding

To address critical shortage of health care workers in the Rock River Valley.
Health Care Worker Shortages Projected.
Opportunity Returns Grant Will Attract and Train New Nurses to Help Meet Expected Demand.
State of Illinois, August 1, 2005

Rockford - Delivering on his State of the State pledge to address the important needs facing the health care industry, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today announced almost $240,000 to support health care training in the Rock River Valley region ... Gov.

Illinois Sticks Up for Healthcare Workers

HB 399 Passes Both Houses.
Illinois Nurses Association, June 1, 2005

Chicago - HB 399 (healthcare workplace violence prevention) passes both Houses on May 30, 2005. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law later this summer.

HB 399 calls for the Illinois Department of Health Services and Illinois Department of Public Health to implement the Healthcare Setting Violence Prevention Act initially as a two-year pilot project in which five facilities will participate. ... Illinois

Governor gets bill waiving nurses' test

Phil Davidson, Pentagraph, May 25, 2005

Springfield - An initiative of Gov. Rod Blagojevich to ease testing standards on foreign nurses was approved Tuesday, but it also brought accusations of racism on the Illinois House floor.

The measure, which the House approved 95-14, is headed to the governor's desk. It would eliminate a test - the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Exam - that the governor's office says is redundant and slows the process of licensing nurses because it is offered only four times per year.

Nurses trained in foreign schools would still be required to have their nursing education credentials evaluated by a service approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The proposal comes amid predictions from the governor's office that the number of caregivers, including nurses, will decrease by 4.2 percent while the number of people needing care could increase by 31 percent over the next two decades.

Illinois Nurses Association to Let Election Stand

Illinois Nurses Association, May 20, 2005

Chicago - The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) has decided against filing any legal challenges to the Illinois Labor Relations Board election held last week involving the registered nurses at Cook County.

"The decision made by INA was carefully thought out and it is in the best interests of our members to move forward," stated Kathryn Martel, INA's director of Labor Relations. ... Illinois

No Mandatory Overtime for Nurses

SB 201 Passes Both Houses Unanimously.
Illinois Nurses Association, May 20, 2005

Chicago - SB 201 passed the House by an unanimous 113-0 vote on May 20, and will go to the Governor's office for signature later this summer. Illinois becomes the 11th state to prohibit the practice of mandatory overtime for nurses.

SB 201 is an agreed upon bill between the Illinois Nurses Association and the Illinois Hospital Association designed to protect patient safety by eliminating mandatory overtime for nurses in hospitals except in unforeseen emergent circumstances ... No Mandatory

Cook County RNs Drop Bargaining Agent

Choose NNOC in Representation Election
Bureau of National Affairs, May 19, 2005

Chicago - Registered nurses in Cook County, Ill., have voted to replace the Illinois Nurses Association, their long-time bargaining agent, in favor of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, a shift the NNOC said demonstrates its growing influence nationally.

NNOC, which is affiliated with the California Nurses Association, announced May 13 that RNs employed by the Cook County Bureau of Health Services had voted to end representation by the Illinois Nurses Association, which is a constituent member of both the American Nurses Association and the United American Nurses, which in turn is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. After three days of balloting, 955 nurses voted in favor NNOC representation, compared with 487 for the INA.

Cook County nurses vote to switch unions

Jonathan Lipman, Daily Southtown, May 14, 2005

The 1,800 registered nurses working at Oak Forest Hospital and other Cook County facilities have voted to leave the Illinois Nurses Association and join a rival organization run out of California.

Nurses voted 955 to 487 to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee, in what that group says is the largest nurse union vote the country has seen in years. Nurses cast ballots over three days, and results were announced Friday.

"That's an overwhelming mandate, that's a landslide," said National Nurses spokesman Charles Idelson.

County nurses dump old union for upstart

David Mendell, Chicago Tribune, May 14, 2005

In a vote being watched by union leaders nationwide, Cook County nurses decided overwhelmingly Friday to join an upstart union in hopes to find fresh and aggressive leadership in their struggles with county management.

Nurses with the Cook County Bureau of Health Services voted 955-487 to be represented by the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an arm of the California Nurses Association, which established the NNOC a year ago and chose Cook County as its first major target.

Cook County nurses split from INA

Associated Press, May 13, 2005

Chicago - About 1,800 nurses at John Stroger Hospital and other Cook County medical facilities have chosen to switch their union representation, saying Friday that the Illinois Nurses Association conceded too much at the bargaining table.

The nurses voted 955-487 in favor of joining the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an independent labor group founded by the California Nurses Association, NNOC spokesman Charles Idelson said. Seven of the county nurses voted for no union representation.

Landslide Vote in Chicago; Cook County RNs Vote for Change - NNOC

Chart Course in Building National RN Movement in Election Watched by Nurses Across the US
California Nurses Association, May 13, 2005

Chicago - In an election watched by registered nurses and many others across the US, Cook County Bureau of Health Services registered nurses have voted by a 2-1 margin - 66 percent - to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC).

Votes were counted today after three days of voting by RNs in eight different polling sites across the county. With their ballots, the Cook County RNs emphatically ended years of frustration with the Illinois Nurses Association.

Victory in Chicago!

Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director, California Nurses Association, May 13, 2005, 3:40:05 PM EDT

I am extremely pleased to let you know that we trounced the ANA in Chicago today! We had 66% of the vote with 1,449 (83%) nurses voting. The final tally was:

NNOC/CNA = 955
UAN           = 487
No Rep       = 7

As you are aware, this vote culminates a 14 month campaign with many legal set backs due to ANA understanding that legal delay was their only option.

The bargaining unit consists of approximately 1800 RNs at the main Cook County hospital (Stroger), two other acute care hospitals, four regional public health departments, correctional facilities and some 20 ambulatory clinics - together known as the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. CCBHS is probably the most important remaining public health system in the US.

INA Creates New Collective Bargaining Unit

RNs Downstate Voted Yes to Join INA
US Newswire, May 11, 2005

Chicago - Registered Nurses in the State Government Department of Human Services in Springfield voted to join the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) on May 9, 2005. Previously, the nurses were classified as independent contractors.

The nurses sought the INA nearly two years ago and filed a petition that would allow them to create a new bargaining unit within the union. "After many, many, back and forth state appeals, the group was given the opportunity to choose to have their needs represented collectively through the INA," says Debbi Reed, RN, INA Assistant Program Director.

Cook County RNs to Vote May 10-12 In Historic NNOC Representation Election

National Nurses Organizing Committee, April 27, 2005

Cook County Bureau of Health Services registered nurses will hold a historic representation election May 10-12 deciding whether to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC). Votes will be held in eight different locations.
By voting to join the NNOC, the 1,800 Cook County RNs would end years of frustration with the Illinois Nurses Association - and months of legal stalling by the INA to block the vote. The election date was finalized late Thursday. It follows a unanimous ruling by the Illinois Labor Relations Board in late March dismissing rejecting a series of challenges by the INA and upholding the right of the Cook County RNs to a timely vote.

Historic First NNOC Election Date for Cook County RNs - May 10-12

NNOC Election Set for May 10-12

In less than two weeks, Cook County nurses will have our chance to end decades of frustration under INA by voting for NNOC. This opportunity to win a powerful voice for RNs is the result of more than a year of hard work and activism by the majority of our colleagues.

On September 1st of last year, we asked the Labor Board to conduct an election to determine which union we truly want to represent us. Our election request was backed by the signature cards of a large majority of Cook County nurses representing all CCBHS facilities.

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