Community, Local, Mental Health, Park Forest

IDHS Releases Statement on Ludeman Nurses Rally

Ludeman nurses wearing blue shirts hold picket signs along the street
Nurses from Ludeman Developmental Center rally for a new contract (Photo INA)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As reported in eNews Park Forest last week, the nurses at Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest staged a rally on Tuesday, July 18. The nurses are currently working without a contract with the State of Illinois. The previous contract expired on June 30 of this year. The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) stated numerous issues, including pay, staffing levels, and safety, are at stake.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) released a statement on Friday regarding the rally and contract negotiations:

“The State is currently engaged in negotiations with INA for a successor contract and we are committed to reaching an agreement. The State and INA share a common interest in addressing staffing, hiring, and providing key services and supports for our patients and residents.”

As previously reported, nurses continue to work as usual. Meanwhile, the contract negotiations continue. eNews Park Forest will provide updates on this matter as developments arise.

According to union steward Marika Loftman-Davis who works at the facility, Ludeman has been understaffed for years. The COVID pandemic made the situation more dire. “Staffing ratios are deplorable. There are fewer nurses for more individuals, and they (nurses) are getting hurt.” Loftman-Davis noted that she sustained an injury while working with a patient.

Nurses Treated Like Zeros

Loftman-Davis has worked at Ludeman for eight years. She said that the pay levels were not correct. Loftman-Davis asserted violations of fair hiring practices. She noted unfulfilled vacancies and the lack of observance of seniority rules.