RNs - Illinois

Nurses will vote on switching unions

Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2005

Cook County - Over the next three days, the 1,800 nurses at Stroger Hospital and seven other Cook County facilities will vote on whether to stay with the Illinois Nurses Association or join the National Nurses Organizing Committee.

The Illinois Labor Relations Board will begin counting the votes on Friday.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee is an arm of the California Nurses Association, which does not belong to the AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization for the nation's major unions.

Nurses Worry About Health Bill

WEEK-TV, May 9, 2005

Healthcare professionals are honoring some of their own as National Nurse's Week kicks off, but a bill in the state senate is causing concern.

In March, the Illinois House approved a bill that legislators say would help ease the burden on nurses but not everyone agrees.

CNA's or certified nurse's aides could see their patient care duties expanded. A bill that allows them to dispense medication at nursing homes has caused a chilling response from some in the nursing community. ... »

Nurses sue over county's curb on overtime

Associated Press, May 8, 2005

The Illinois Nurses Association is suing Cook County over its new policy restricting voluntary overtime, alleging that the policy violates the nurses' collective bargaining agreement and is dangerous for patients receiving care in understaffed hospitals, union officials said.

''We just can't walk away from a patient,'' said Janet Crawford, a registered nurse at Cook County's Stroger Hospital, at a rally at Daley Center Plaza on Saturday.

The rally, held to celebrate National Nurses Week, attracted several dozen nurses who listened to speeches and a folk singer who sang about understaffing.

New policy will restrict county overtime

Jonathan Lipman, Daily South Town, May 4, 2005

Cook County approved an ordinance Tuesday sharply limiting overtime, but commissioners attacked Board President John Stroger for failing to keep an eye on expenditures.

The policy restricts all employees to 20 hours of overtime per week - or 624 hours per year - and requires department heads to submit bi-monthly reports on overtime spending.

Stroger floated the new policy Tuesday after a report April 24 spotlighted 100 county workers who each were paid at least $50,000 in overtime last year.

County curtails excessive overtime

Stroger chided for not acting sooner
Mickey Ciokajlo & Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune, May 4, 2005

Cook County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a new policy that caps workers' overtime, although some commissioners questioned why the Stroger administration failed to act sooner to control runaway costs paid to employees.

The policy prohibits employees from working more than 20 hours of overtime each week and places a cap of 624 hours per year - except in emergencies.

Stroger out to choke off extreme OT

County boss seeks 20 hour-a-week limit
Mickey Ciokajlo & Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune, May 3, 2005

Cook County Board President John Stroger has put forth a proposal that would prohibit any employee from working more than 20 hours a week in overtime unless there was an emergency, following disclosures that more than 100 workers last year each made $50,000 or more in extra pay.

Stroger's resolution is meant to send a message to both county managers and taxpayers that he wants excessive overtime costs brought under control in an effort to clamp down on spending.

Cook County Board approves overtime limits

Associated Press, May 3, 2005

The Cook County Board unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday limiting the amount of overtime county employees can work following disclosures that more than 100 employees were paid $50,000 or more in overtime last year.

The resolution, which goes into effect immediately, prohibits employees from working more than 20 hours of overtime a week unless there is an emergency.

"I have repeatedly been saying, 'This should have better control and people should not work too many hours,"' said Cook County Board President John Stroger, who proposed the resolution.

Union election dates set for Cook County nurses

Karen E. Pride, Chicago Defender, April 28, 2005

Next month, Cook County nurses will have the first chance in decades to decide their fate through union representation.

The Illinois Nurses Association, which has handled nurses' contracts for four decades, may soon be replaced by the National Nurses Organizing Committee during a three-day election from May 10 - 12.

Veteran nurse Bernice Faulkner, 70, said Wednesday's announcement of the election dates marks an historic opportunity.

"It's coming during our Nurses Week and we're going to take back our profession," she told the Chicago Defender.

INA Urges Nurses to Vote

Dates, Times and Locations Set for Important Labor Vote
US Newswire, April 27, 2005

Contact: John Karebian or Kathryn Martel, 312-419-2900, both of the Illinois Nurses Association

Chicago - The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) today urged its bargaining unit members at Cook County Bureau of Health Services (CCBHS) facilities to step up and be counted during next month's election.

The Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) has set May 10 to 12 as the dates for nurses to vote at eight locations throughout CCBHS. The sites are: Stroger Hospital, Provident Hospital, Cermak Health Services, Rolling Meadows Courthouse, Maywood Department of Public Health, Oak Forest Hospital, Bridgeview Courthouse and Markham Courthouse.

County workers hit OT jackpot

One nurse's overtime tab: $187,500
Mickey Ciokajlo & Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune, April 24, 2005

Cook County officials have long promised to rein in runaway overtime costs, but payroll records show that more than 100 county workers were each paid $50,000 or more in overtime last year, with one industrious nurse pulling down $187,500 in extra pay.

Oak Forest Hospital nurse Usha Patel, who earned the overtime on top of her regular $92,700 salary, also led county employees in overtime pay in 1996, when the Tribune last totaled up the tab.

INA calls for passage of SB 201

Daily Review Atlas, April 19, 2005

Mandatory overtime for nurses endangers patient care and is contributing to the nursing shortage around the state.

The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) is backing the approval of Senate Bill 201, which would ban hospitals from requiring nurses to work more than 12 consecutive hours during a 24-hour period. The bill would also prohibit hospitals from retaliating against nurses who refuse to work overtime and impose civil penalties against facilities that don't comply. ... »

HB 822 delivers medicine via CNAs

Barb Kromphardt, Bureau County Republican, April 14, 2005

Sides have been chosen over a bill in the Illinois House that would allow certified nursing assistants to dispense medications to patients in nursing homes, and the differences are as sharp as the needle on a syringe.

The Illinois Nurses Association calls House Bill 822 a "prescription for disaster."

HB822, as currently proposed, would give medication technicians the authority to administer medications to patients in assisted living and long-term care facilities without on-site supervision and delegation of a registered nurse.

Proposal would allow medical technicians to distribute patients’ drugs at care facilities

Brock Cooper, NewsTribune, April 13, 2005

A bill meant to free up time for nurses and licensed practical nurses may end up causing more problems than solutions.

House Bill 822 would allow noncertified medical technicians the ability to distribute medication to patients under the direct supervision of a nurse or LPN at an assisted living or long-term care facility. Currently, nurses and LPNs are the only ones that can dispense medication.

“It would be the nurses’ responsibility,” Mendota nursing home assistant director of nursing Denise Bauer said.

Nursing group opposes allowing others to dispense medicine

WQAD, March 31, 2005

Springfield - Illinois nurses said today that allowing others to dispense routine medicine in nursing homes would hurt residents.
Nursing homes are pushing legislation to allow properly trained nursing assistants to give patients some medications. Administrators say that would allow nurses time to carry out other duties.

The Illinois Nurses Association worries it is just a cost-cutting measure that could increase the potential for errors.

Mildred Taylor of the nurses association says nurses also would still have to assess whether the medicine is working so the measure would not save nurses much time.

Stroger nurses will vote on plan to switch unions

Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2005

Cook County - The Illinois Labor Relations Board cleared the way Wednesday for a union election by 1,800 nurses at Stroger Hospital and other Cook County facilities who are represented by the Illinois Nurses Association.

The labor board said the nurses will probably vote in late April or early May on whether to stay with the INA or join the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an arm of the California Nurses Association. The INA had asked the board to postpone the election.

A win by the National Nurses Organizing Committee would mark its first major union election victory since it was launched last year by the California Nurses Association as a national organizing effort among nurses. It has about 5,000 members, union officials said.

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