After years of negotiations, administrators at one of Chicago’s largest public hospitals have dropped their opposition to 250 of their doctors joining a physicians’ bargaining unit of the Service Employees International Union.
Stroger Hospital officials drop opposition to doc union
The group of physicians, dentists, psychologists, and podiatrists at 460-bed John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County voted several years ago to join Doctors Council SEIU, but the bargaining unit was not recognized by hospital executives. SEIU spokesman Michael Woloz said the first union-drive petitions were circulated among the doctors at Stroger in the 1980s.
Although the doctors union was ratified by a vote among members and recognized at all the other facilities operated by Stroger’s public owner, Cook County Health and Hospitals System, officials at Stroger refused to recognize the union, arguing that the doctors were supervisors, health system spokesman Lucio Guerrero said.
On Aug. 31, officials at Stroger dropped their opposition to the union and signed an agreement that covers the 250 workers. Guerrero said the decision was motivated by a long-range plan to bring greater centralization the public system, which owns three public hospitals, a prison hospital, and 16 community clinics.
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