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Nurses hold 1-day strike at University of Chicago hospital

Sherida Allen (center), a nurse in the interventional radiology department at the University of Chicago Medical Center, joins thousands of other nurses to demonstrate Friday outside the South Side hospital in Chicago.
Sherida Allen (center), a nurse in the interventional radiology department at the University of Chicago Medical Center, joins thousands of other nurses to demonstrate Friday outside the South Side hospital in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Nurses at University of Chicago Medical Center held a one-day strike after what they call a breakdown of contract negotiations between their union and the hospital.

The walkout began Friday morning, with nurses marching and chanting outside the hospital.

The 618-bed hospital prepared for a walkout by the about 2,200 nurses by diverting ambulances and moving patients. Although the nurses said the strike would last one day, hospital officials have told the nurses to stay away until Wednesday because temporary nurses have been contracted.

Hospital President Sharon O'Keefe has said that the medical center was "disheartened that we had to get to this point."

The nurses have been without a contract since April. They're seeking lower nurse-to-patient ratios and say they're being forced to work overtime.

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