The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) today announced the successful negotiation of a groundbreaking contract agreement with the State of Illinois.
This landmark four-year contract, the result of tireless efforts and unwavering unity among INA members, represents a significant step forward for over 1,000 dedicated nurses across the state. The agreement was reached on Sept. 29, 2023, and was ratiﬁed the following month on Oct. 26.
The new contract was ratiﬁed with a 97% vote. Tori Dameron, RN, president of the Illinois Nurses Association, registered nurse at Quincy Veterans Home, and co-chief negotiator, expressed her enthusiasm for this achievement, saying, “The power of organizing is clear. These nurses stood together to support each other’s needs and demands and it paid off. Never before have these nurses seen a contract this strong and a local union so powerful. We were able to come together through rallies, petitions, and other organizing across the state to win the biggest wage increase that state nurses have ever seen.
“In the ﬁnal weeks of negotiations, dozens of nurses from over 20 facilities across the State of Illinois came to Springﬁeld to share their stories. We heard from nurses at every facility that staﬃng and safety were priorities, and that the state needed to invest in healthcare to make sure that the vulnerable populations we serve are well taken care of by a well-staffed team of union nurses,” the official INA statement further notes.
Key highlights of the new contract include:
Salary Increases: The contract includes substantial pay increases totaling 22.95% over the four-year term, ensuring that nurses are fairly compensated for their crucial work. Additionally, there will be $2,200 in bonuses throughout the life of the contract.
Remote Work: The contract ensures that remote work is not just a temporary measure due to the pandemic but will remain based on the operational needs of the agency. This provision protects employees currently eligible for remote work and paves the way for expanding this option to more employees.
Parental Leave: INA members are now eligible for 12 weeks of parental leave for both birthing and non-birthing parents, providing crucial support to those starting or expanding their families. Parental leave has expanded language that extensively covers loss of pregnancy.
Fixing the State Staﬃng Crisis: The Governor’s team has made a real commitment to rolling out effective hiring practices by June 2024, including the continuous posting of vacancies and conditional job offers. We believe this is a huge step towards ﬁlling the hundreds of nurse vacancies across the state.
Bargaining Committee Member Michelle Abens, RN, of the Sheridan Correctional Center believes that “this contract agreement represents a signiﬁcant victory for INA members, reﬂecting their collective strength and commitment to their profession. By working together, nurses from different backgrounds and beliefs have achieved a contract that beneﬁts everyone. INA is immensely proud of the solidarity displayed throughout the negotiation process.”
About the Illinois Nurses Association
The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) is a professional organization representing registered nurses and healthcare workers across Illinois. With a mission to promote the professional, economic, and personal well-being of nurses, INA advocates for the highest standards of patient care and serves as a collective voice for its members in the healthcare industry. The INA represents nurses in the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Human Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Public Health, Department of Child & Family Services, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services within the State of Illinois.