Joliet nurses give AMITA notice of tentative July strike date

Nurses have set a tentative strike date of July 4 at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet.

The Illinois Nurses Association announced Tuesday it has given 10-day notice of a possible strike as it continues to negotiate a new contract.

The notice is a warning required by the National Labor Relations Board and allows the nurses to go on strike July 4 or later but does not necessarily mean a strike will occur.

Nurses said in a news release that AMITA has proposed a wage freeze in what was called a final offer.

The offer was rejected by 89% of membership, Pat Meade, a nurse and negotiator in the contract talks, said in the release.

Meade said the union held an emergency meeting with nurses after negotiations on Monday and polled membership on the AMITA proposal made that day.

AMITA is proposing annual bonuses that would depend on whether bonuses are given to non-union hospital staff, Meade said.

"It's totally up to their discretion," she said.

Nurses said they have proposed wage increases of 2%, 3.5% and 3.5% over three years.

A strike is possible if progress is not made in contract talks, Meade said.

"Unfortunately, I do believe if we do not come to an agreement in the next days the nurses will be willing to go out," she said.

Thetwo sides are scheduled to meet again June 30 and July 8.

The contract expired May 9. Negotiations are being overseen by a mediator.

“AMITA’s proposal and bargaining tactics can only be described as greedy and aggressive ,” INA Executive Director Alice Johnson said in the release.

An AMITA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.