(CHICAGO) — Teamsters Local Union 743 denounced management at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) today, for continued refusal to bargain with the more than 230 patient care technicians (PCTs) that overwhelmingly voted to become Teamsters on Aug. 29.
In a Sept. 11 memorandum to PCTs, RUMC announced it would not bargain with the workers or Local 743 for a new contract. The memorandum continued a pattern of disrespect management has shown to PCTs and the vital role they play at the hospital.
“Disrespect and delay seem to be the only moves in RUMC’s playbook,” said Debra Simmons-Peterson, President of Teamsters Local 743. “Our members have spoken with one voice – they are tired of being marginalized and ignored. Many PCTs have gone without a raise for years. Management needs to sit down and bargain in good faith with the patient care technicians immediately.”
To help raise awareness of their fight, PCTs and Local 743 will hold a prayer vigil near the medical center on Sept. 24 that will be attended by members of labor and the community. They will have the support of the more than 800 other workers at RUMC that are represented by Local 743. The Teamsters have been the representative for workers at the medical center since 1967 and have bargained on behalf of the cafeteria staff, painters, engineers, housekeepers and ward workers.
“It is time for RUMC to stop stalling and do the right thing,” said Latanya Gardner a RUMC patient care technician. “Management has ignored us for too long and it must recognize our value to the hospital and begin negotiations.”
Teamsters Local 743 represents more than 10,000 workers in manufacturing, warehouse, clerical, health care and mail-order industries across the Chicago area.