Nurses At Ascension Hospital In Joliet Will Hold Informational Picket On Monday, April 8th
The nurses of Ascension St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet will hold an informational picket on Monday, April 8th at 3 p.m. Nurses did not accept the final offer by Ascension. Nurses maintain that despite the hiring of more than 60 nurses, unsafe working conditions persist. Nurses say there are down more than 300 nurses due to understaffing and below market wages.
Meanwhile in advance of the informational picket Ascension sent out a press release:

In January, Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet implemented our last, best and final offer for our RN contract that:

  • Instituted a competitive wage scale for our nurses—allowing us to successfully recruit and retain nurses with an increase in entry level wages of nearly 19 percent in the first year of the contract. 

  • Improved eligibility for our critical staffing incentive program—increasing the minimum referral bonus to $5,000.

  • Increased premium and call pay.

  • Established paid parental leave.

  • Enhanced our new nurse graduate education and orientation programs including monthly in-person meetings that ensure our new registered nurses get the support they need.

Over the last two months, since we implemented our final offer, we have hired 78 new registered nurses through an extensive recruitment campaign. Most of these additional nurses are already on our units, supporting our care teams and providing quality care to our patients.

We remain focused on doing what’s right for our nurses and community through implementing these improvements. We continue to meet with the union to bargain in good faith, including a planned bargaining session for this upcoming Monday, April 8. We have been made aware that Illinois Nurses Association will be hosting an informational picket outside of Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet that same day. By planning this activity, we have to assume the union is not coming to the table intending to do the work necessary to reach a tentative agreement.

The safety and well-being of our patients, visitors, associates, physicians and picketers is our first priority. The union’s upcoming informational picket is not a strike and will not impact patient care. Our leadership and security teams are engaged and implementing plans to help ensure the safety of all.

Our ongoing goal is to support all of our associates in a just and equitable manner as we continue to provide safe, compassionate care to all.