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 CHICAGO — Nurses and EMTs say the emergency room at the University of Illinois Hospital has become a dangerous place to work.    

Outside the hospital Tuesday, first responders demanded proper security and policies to protect them. Staffers say patients have threatened, stalked, and attacked them.  Some emergency personnel say they have been seriously injured. 

According to protesters, negotiations with management for safer conditions have gone nowhere,  accusing them of only caring about the hospital’s bottom line. 

“They are happy to sit in their offices and let us just rot, ” said Paul Pater, RN. “And it’s not fair. It’s not right. And they should be held accountable.”

University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics CEO Michael Zenn released a statement, saying in part:  

“While we have a responsibility to our nurses – who are among the highest-paid nurses in Illinois – we also have a responsibility to our entire staff, to our patients, and to the state of Illinois that requires we manage our budget responsibly. We invite our nursing colleagues to partner with us in finding fair solutions and look forward to continued direct discussions regarding their concerns and ideas.”