Nurses at Maryville Academy's Behavioral Health Hospital are going ahead with plans for a five-day strike outside the Des Plaines hospital starting Monday, the nurses union said.
A federal mediator joined negotiations last Monday between the hospital and the Illinois Nurses Association, which represents 24 nurses who unionized with the association in August of 2012.
Both parties had expressed hope that the mediator’s presence could prevent a strike. But INA executive director Alice J. Johnson said Wednesday that progress in those negotiations amounted to "virtually none."
Another round of contract negotiations is scheduled for today, and Maryville Academy spokesman John Gorman said the hospital was "hopeful" today’s negotiations would end with a contract.
The nurses union said the strike aims to compel Maryville officials to bargain in good faith, something the union claims has been lacking since contract negotiations began in February of last year.
Gorman has denied any allegations of bad-faith negotiations, saying the hospital has held 25 meetings and devoted "hundreds of man hours" toward negotiating with nurses.
Nurses filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board last August alleging that hospital officials refused to negotiate with the association on issues stemming from staffing levels and safety concerns at the inpatient facility formally known as Scott Nolan Psychiatric Hospital.
That complaint was later settled with the hospital, with the terms calling for both sides to bargain in good faith and for the hospital to notify the union before disciplining any union employees.
Nurses plan to picket outside the hospital, 555 W. Wilson Lane, starting Monday and continuing through Saturday.