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Nurses: Tentative deal at U of I hospital averts threatened strike

At the last minute, more than 1,100 registered nurses at the University of Illinois hospital on the West Side have said they will not strike today, as they had previously threatened to do.

The nurses’ three-year contract with the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, 1740 W. Taylor St., was set to expire today. And the nurses had said they planned to do a one-day strike at 7 a.m. because they said the hospital was seeking numerous concessions that would threaten patient care.

But late Monday, a spokesman for the Illinois Nurses Association said they were holding off on a strike, because they had reached a tentative agreement. No further information was immediately available.

The hospital has said they had a contingency plan in place if there had been a strike.

Both sides have been in multiple negotiations with each other. The last meeting was Monday.

The nurses have said they are asking for a series of changes related to staffing and scheduling changes, such as more notice whenever a scheduling change is made.

They have also said that the hospital has made it clear that it intends to cut the number of experienced nurses providing direct patient care — a move that they argue could put patients at risk. But the hospital has said that it has “no current plans to layoff nurses.”