- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - A tentative contract agreement has averted a strike planned by thousands of Illinois nursing home workers.

More than 5,000 workers at Chicago, Rockford and Springfield facilities planned a Thursday strike. But Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois officials say an agreement was reached on a 3-year deal late Wednesday.

The union’s chief negotiator Larry Alcoff says the tentative agreement includes wage increases of up to 40 percent and staffing provisions to adjust work requirements. He says the contract will also address concerns over immigrant workers’ rights.

If ratified, the agreement will cover 10,000 SEIU members at 103 nursing homes belonging to the Illinois Association of Health Care Facilities.

Association spokesman Nick Kalm says its members are pleased an agreement was reached. Kalm says they hope the union will join them in pressing legislators to address a Medicaid funding “crisis” he says is affecting worker pay.

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