Local News

Nurses union says some at St. Joe’s still not paid in full since Kronos ransomware attack

Union wants Joliet hospital to meet with nurses one-on-one to review pay

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet

Two months ago on Dec. 11, the timekeeping system used by AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center was the victim of a ransomware attack.

By Jan. 11, the system from Ultimate Kronos Group that was impacted was back up and running at St. Joe’s.

In the interim, the hospital used a manual system for its timekeeping. Many of the about 700 union nurses at St. Joe’s had errors on their paychecks, errors that still are not fully resolved, said John Fitzgerald, staff specialist for Illinois Nurses Association.

So the union wants AMITA Health to give nurses the opportunity to meet with a “knowledgeable decision-maker” and individually review their pay, Fitzgerald said.

AMITA Health wants the floor manager to address it, but floor managers aren’t equipped to fully settle the issues, he said.

Fitzgerald said AMITA Health offered a different process for reviewing those paychecks that doesn’t involve “any people,” but hasn’t clarified what that means, Fitzgerald said. The concern is that a ticket will just be opened and closed, he said.

“So right now, [we’re] hoping that we can get someone from management to review pay and make sure it is correct,” Fitzgerald said.

For instance, one nurse believed she was properly paid most of her money, Fitzgerald said. But when the attack happened, she did not document all her extra tasks and differentials because the hospital typically maintains a record of them, he added.

But she has no one with whom to discuss whether the documentation or pay was correct, Fitzgerald said.

“I don’t see how a corporation is allowed to operate like this,” Fitzgerald said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

In fact, some nurses were overpaid, and the union is concerned that AMITA Health will illegally deduct money from those nurses, Fitzgerald said.

It also appears some nurses may have miscalculations in their paid time off that they accrued during the outage, Fitzgerald said.

“They [also] didn’t pay anyone their holiday pay for Martin Luther King Day, which is an agreed holiday in their contract,” Fitzgerald said.

These are all examples of why the union wants a “knowledgeable decision-maker” at AMITA Health to meet with any nurse who isn’t 100% certain they received their full pay, Fitzgerald said.

The union is not asking AMITA Health to meet with every nurse.

“A minority, a small minority, of folks are confident that the numbers provided by them [AMITA Health] are correct,” Fitzgerald said.

AMITA Health has not returned phone calls to The Herald-News.