University of Illinois nurses end strike, return to work without new contract as negotiations continue

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CHICAGO — University of Illinois nurses returned to work Saturday morning without a new contract, but negotiations will continue throughout the day.

The nurses went back on the job at 7 a.m. without a new deal. However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the union is confident both sides are close to reaching an agreement.

About 800 University of Illinois Hospital nurses walked off the job Sept. 12 after more than 20 bargaining sessions.

The day before the strike, a judge granted the University if Illinois Board of Trustees a temporary restraining order that prevented critical care nurses from participating. About 1,300 nurses were originally planning to strike. Nurses in labor and delivery, surgical, transplants and other critical care departments were not allowed to walk off the job.

The union’s priority was nurse to patient ratio. Other key issues included having enough PPE and raises.

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