February 07, 2023
Local News

Staffing complaints at St. Joe's in Joliet unresolved post-strike

Nurses at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center who went on strike this summer over staffing issues have filed more than 100 complaints about staffing levels since, the Illinois Nurses Association said.

INA, the union that represents nearly 700 nurses at the Joliet hospital, put out a news release Thursday saying nurses are filing complaint forms that "document unsafe working conditions that threaten patient safety when hospital units are inadequately staffed."

Nurses ended a 16-day strike in July agreeing to a new contract that union leaders said did not meet their concerns about staffing levels.

The nurses had filed more than 2,000 complaint forms before the strike, said Pat Meade, a nurse at St. Joseph Medical Center and vice president of INA.

The contract included a side letter intended to address staffing by the end of the year, but the problem is becoming more widespread because 50 nurses have left, Meade said.

"The nurses are extremely tired," Meade said. "They are exhausted. They are looking for somebody to hear them and know that they are trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability and safely."

AMITA spokesman Timothy Nelson, in an emailed statement, did not specifically address the staffing complaints but said, "We continually review and address opportunities to maintain a high quality, safe environment of care for our patients, associates and physicians."

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News