Joliet Nurses Hosted Informational Picket Highlighting Unsafe Staffing

The Ascension St. Joseph Joliet nurses marked May Day (5/1) with an informational picket highlighting dangerous understaffing and retaliation against nurses who bring up concerns around safety. The picket will ran from 5pm to 8pm on the Glenwood Street sidewalk in front of the facility. 

The 530 union nurses, organized under the Illinois Nurses Association have been working under a new set of policies implemented earlier this year against the wishes of the vast majority of staff. Since implementation, patient loads have increased dramatically, negatively impacting the care patients receive. Nurses who have spoken up for these patients have experienced retaliation including threats of termination. Hospital leadership has made public claims around the hiring of 76 new staff nurses, but an investigation by the union showed that the actual number of new hires was closer to 40. 

Nurses marked the one year anniversary of the start of negotiations this week by passing a new proposal with language modeled after the contract that nurses at an Ascension facility in Austin, Texas ratified in March. 

Our union members are very agitated right now because we feel we are being punished for trying to protect our patients,” nurse Jeanine Johnson said. “We have a proposal on the table that will solve this crisis and we will keep pushing to make the administration take it seriously.” 

Nurses will return to the bargaining table with Ascension on May 7th.