On March 30, UI hospital workers gathered on a chilly Spring morning to raise concerns about increasing violent incidents at work. Nurses with Illinois Nurses Association and techs with SEIU Local 73 called on management to address their demands to increase safety in the hospital emergency department. Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson joined workers during the press conference to stand in solidarity with their efforts.
“In the last few years, I’ve never felt more unsafe,” said Daniel Culliver-Dodd, EMT and Local 73 Chief Steward. “I am calling on the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois to hear our concerns. I personally have been punched, hit, and rolled around on the floor, waiting for security that is two minutes away – the longest two minutes of my life. We need more security in the hospital so we can do our job and keep our patients safe.”
Hospital workers are calling on UI management to hire more security guards, preserve and respect techs duties, take staff complaints seriously, and implement more staff communication when an incident occurs.
“We have to be sitters to patients that may be violent or experiencing something. That takes techs off the floor and it prevents us from helping other patients in need. It’s a danger to the staff person that’s sitting and the other patients that require our care. That is unacceptable and it’s time for a change,” said Parth Mohanty, Nursing Technician.
“This is not just the conditions of these handful of workers. This is the expectation that the people of Chicago have for this institution: to provide the protective services that are needed so that workers can do their job. To make sure that you’re not just listening, but you’re taking the recommendations and demands they put on the table. They’re not just complaining, they’re offering solutions. We know what it takes to improve the working conditions of this institution,” said Brandon Johnson.