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Local News

Striking Joliet nurses take vote on latest offer from AMITA

Vote tally likely won't be known until late Saturday

The nurses on strike began the process of voting on the latest contract proposal from AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center on Friday.

The nurses union went on strike last week after negotiations between the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) and AMITA broke down. The two sides had been exchanging contract proposals over the past few days.

INA spokesman Chris Martin said the voting process would take place over Friday and Saturday.

"You need a couple of days to accommodate everyone's schedule," Martin said.

Pat Meade, a nurse and union negotiator, said the result would not likely be known until late Saturday.

She said AMITA has been "steadfast" on many of its stances. The union wants AMITA to increase nurse staffing at the hospital to what it considers safe levels.

Meade said AMITA would not commit to any specific staffing numbers, but would be open to addressing nurses' concerns later this year.

"There were some things we could not get," Meade said.

She added the union has also been wanting assurance that nurses don't face any repercussions when they return to work from striking.

As of Friday afternoon, Meade was unsure of how the vote would turn out. She said the union had already given a lot of ground and was hoping for concessions from AMITA.

Still, she said many union members were "adamant" about their demands for more adequate staffing numbers.

"We're just waiting to see what the nurses say," Meade said.

A spokesman for AMITA did not return multiple requests for comment on Friday.

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