Loretto Hospital workers set to strike Monday morning

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Some Loretto Hospital workers are set to go on strike Monday morning.

Frontline service, care and technical workers will walk a picket line outside the West Side hospital at 7 a.m., according an SEIU Healthcare Illinois spokeswoman.

Workers have been working on a new contract with the hospital. Union members are demanding a living wage, more staffing and better working conditions.

“Loretto is facing a significant staffing crisis, with vacancy rates ranging from 25 to 35% in various positions and an annual staff turnover of 60%,” the union said in a statement.

“The hospital is lagging behind other facilities on wages, despite having been allocated $10 million in funding from the state of Illinois specifically to address worker recruitment and retention,” the statement said.

Loretto Hospital didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Last year, the hospital’s chief executive and president abruptly left. Employees learned of George Miller’s departure in a brief memo from the hospital’s general counsel.

The move followed several investigations from Block Club Chicago and the Better Government Association revealing alleged financial mismanagement at Loretto and potential misuse of COVID-19 vaccines when they were in high demand and short supply.

The hospital board launched a probe into allegations that executives had taken city-supplied vaccine and used it to inoculate people at the Trump Tower downtown and at other locations, rather than use it for residents of the Austin community that Loretto serves. In some of the cases, the hospital gave shots to those who were not eligible.

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