Update: Ascension, St Joseph Nurses Come To A Tentative Agreement Must Be Finalized Before June 1st

A tentative agreement between Ascension and the nurses union at Ascension St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet has been made. Sarah Hurd of the Illinois Nurses Association confirmed to WJOL that the agreement came together in the 11th hour yesterday evening, when Ascension came to the table with a better offer. The nurses have been working without a contract since last July. Since then, there have been three walkouts, and the union gave notice to a potential 4th walkout.

A majority of the nurses within the union need to ratify the contract, which should take a couple of weeks.

A press release from the nurses union below outlines some of the contract.

A tentative agreement has been reached between the union representing nurses at Ascension St. Joseph and their employer. The two parties began honing in on the final details of the contract at a bargaining session on May 7th and continued passing proposals through a mediator in the following days. On Thursday, the union put forward an additional offer saying they needed a response by end of day Friday to avert a potential joint strike with the nurses of Ascension Genesys in Flint, Michigan. On Friday, at 8pm nurses put in a 10-day notice that they would join the Flint nurses on their strike. On Saturday the Joliet nurses received an improved offer from Ascension on the condition they pull the 10-day notice. The St. Joe’s bargaining team deemed this new offer was good enough to bring to their coworkers for a vote. 

This tentative agreement enshrines that nurses will only be pulled to areas of the hospital outside their specialty on a voluntary basis. It also honors the most senior nurses at the hospital with additional paid time off and contains a lump sum payment for all nurses. The deal will not be officially ratified until it is voted on and approved by the full bargaining unit. 

There are some significant wins for us in this deal,” said Sarah Hurd, an organizer with the Illinois Nurses Association, “But ultimately, this choice must be made by the majority of nurses working day in and day out at this hospital. They will decide for themselves democratically whether this is a contract they can work under for the next three years.” 

Nurses will be reviewing and voting on the contract over the next two weeks and results of the vote will be finalized before June 1st.