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Injunction seeks to stop U of I nurses from supporting strike

The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois has filed an injunction against the Illinois Nurses Association, asking a judge to permanently halt the nurses union from “supporting or encouraging any work stoppage.”

The motion was filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The union — consisting of more than 1,100 nurses — voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in late August, the Sun-Times previously reported. They voted in favor again in early October, meeting the requirements to authorize a strike.

The injunction specifically asked to bar nurses from U of I Hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Emergency Department, Labor and Delivery Unit, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Neurological Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Organ Transplant/Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Oncology Center.

“Suddenly, the hospital is acknowledging the high degree of specialized care and the value of the skill level of the nurses because that hasn’t been reflected at the bargaining table,” said Alice J. Johnson, executive director of the union.

The nurses’ last contract with the hospital, a three-year deal, had expired and was recently extended to Oct. 21.