Stroger nurses protest union, Association drops 37 of hospital's representatives

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    Chicago Tribune - Stroger nurses protest union

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...calchicago-hed

    Stroger nurses protest union
    Association drops 37 of hospital's representatives
    By Courtney K. Wade
    Tribune staff reporter

    June 23, 2004

    More than 600 of Stroger Hospital's 894 registered nurses have signed a petition protesting their union's removal of 37 elected representatives.

    In a demonstration near Ogden and Damen Avenues by the hospital, about 120 registered nurses used their lunch break Tuesday to chant and raise picket signs.

    "We were elected by the people and we were removed by the people downtown," said Martese Chism, who formerly was second vice president of the Illinois Nurses Association at Stroger Hospital. "They removed us without due process."

    The protesting nurses delivered a copy of a letter and signatures Tuesday to the nurses association and to hospital administration officials.

    The protesting nurses delivered a copy of a letter and signatures Tuesday to the nurses association and to hospital administration officials.

    Union officials said the local officers were not servicing their members, not forwarding grievances and working with the California Nurses Association to decertify their association.

    "Our commission has the right to remove local unit officers from their offices," said Ned Burke, union administrator.

    On June 14 , the nurses association removed 37 elected officials from office, an act that the protesting Stroger nurses called "unlawful" and "insulting."

    "We hire them [to represent us]," said Dorothy Ahmad, a registered nurse who has worked at Stroger for 13 years. She said she will not pay the association $600 in member dues in exchange for disrespect.

    The notification came in a faxed letter addressed not to the leaders individually, but to Birdge Givens, associate administrator in the hospital's Human Resources Department.

    The Stroger nurses anticipate their contract will end in November.
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