About 1,200 University of Illinois Hospital nurses plan to strike Sept. 13 if they are unable to reach a contract agreement beforehand.
The nurses voted overwhelmingly for the strike last week, and will strike for 24 hours, said Alice Johnson, executive director of the Illinois Nurses Association. They plan to picket that day, she said.
The West Side hospital said in a statement Tuesday that it hopes a strike will not occur but it is "taking steps to prepare for a potential work stoppage to ensure our patients' continued care and safety."
A hospital spokeswoman did not respond to requests by deadline Tuesday for more detail on those steps or on how a strike might affect patient services.
The hospital and nurses have been negotiating a contract for months. Johnson said the union wants 3 percent cost of living increases each year, but the hospital is proposing paying nurses a $500 cash bonus the first year of the contract with 1 percent increases in each of the next two years. The union and hospital are both proposing raises based on experience, though their proposals differ, Johnson said.
Johnson said the hospital is also proposing a number of changes to working conditions and job responsibilties for nurses.
Contract negotiations are expected to continue this week.
During the last round of contract negotiations about three years ago, the union also scheduled a date to strike but reached an agreement with the hospital before then, Johnson said.