Image source: Lurie Children’s Careers
Lurie Children’s Hospital is one of Chicago’s top hospitals, but there has been a dispute between nurses and management.
Lurie’s nurses are clashing with management after receiving messages they say are union-busting.
The leaders of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago recently told nurses there was no need to form a union.
They sent a letter signed by the hospital’s chief nursing officer and assistant chief nursing officer.
According to the letter, nurses do not need a union speaking on their behalf.
Additionally, the administration is concerned about the impact of a union on work culture.
Management sent the letter earlier this month.
The past few years have been some of the busiest at Lurie Children’s Hospital as the pandemic has wreaked havoc, testing the healthcare system.
Among the other challenges the hospital face were:
- Staffing shortage
- Higher-than-normal patient-to-nurse ratios
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A Lurie nurse spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times and requested to remain unnamed.
The veteran nurse worked at the hospital for nearly two decades, serving the establishment for 16 years.
“You feel as if you’re a bad nurse because you are limited in the time you can spend with each of your patients,” said the nurse.
“Lurie nurses strive to give the best care we can give, and that really hits us at our heart when we feel like we can’t give that.”
The hospital’s response
Meanwhile, Lurie Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Julianne Bardele said the hospital respects the rights of workers to organize.
However, she noted that unionization could significantly affect the work environment at the hospital.
“Like most pediatric healthcare organizations, Lurie Children’s has faced challenges that have made nursing harder,” said Bardele.
“But we remain committed to working directly with our workforce to address concerns and to continue to foster a culture built on mutual respect and shared dedication to providing a healthier future for every child.”
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The managers and directors of Lurie Children’s Hospital ignored the concerns nurses sought to address about staffing and to improve working conditions.
“Every month, we will sit down and go through issues,” said another Lurie nurse of six years.
“I brought up some issues that I was concerned about, and my director was… I wouldn’t say yelling, but she got very short with me.”
According to the nurses, when they received the letter, they felt discouraged and even threatened by management.
They also said they wanted the letter to contain at least some compromises.
Lurie’s veteran nurse elaborated, saying:
“[Some of the phrases used in the letter] really made us feel little because many of us have spoken and continue to speak and have gone those routes and avenues that they talked about in that letter, and then it’s crickets afterward.”
Lurie Children’s Hospital nurses at odds with management over potential to unionize