Nurses from St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet will stage a “two-day” strike just before Thanksgiving. But as in past “two day” strikes, Ascension Health systems typically hires replacement nurses for four days.
Jeanine Johnson, a nurse at St. Joe’s is part of the nurses union and expects to be on the picket line this Thanksgiving beginning, Tuesday, November 21st. Nurses will be locked out for a total of four days from November 21st to November November 25th.
It’s been about a month since the two sides have met face to face. A mediator is involved in the negotiations. Despite objections from the nurses union, the two sides have met over zoom.
The negotiating team from St. Joe’s have reached out to the St. Joe’s Medical Center Community Leadership Board for help with no response.
Currently there are 500 nurses working at the hospital down from 850, five years ago. They have lost 350 nurses. Plus intensive care units are cut in half, down from 48 to 24 units.
Nurses have been working without a contract since July 19th, 2023. Nurses last went on strike in July 2020. That strike was when the facility was known as AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center. The next negotiating session is slated for Dec 8th.