UIC workers draw ire for union protest T-shirts

    Casual Friday didn't include union protest T-shirts at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, according to SEIU Local 73 and university officials.

     Joe Iosbaker, the local's chief steward, said supervisors at UIC refused entrance to dozens of Patient Access workers who showed up last Friday morning wearing T-shirts to protest an increase in the number of patients they were required to register for care -- from five to eight patients an hour.

     The T-shirts said: “Quality for Patients, Not Quantity of Registrations.”

     But Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez, a UIC spokeswoman, said workers were asked to turn the shirts inside out or cover them because the shirts "were not appropriate for work." She said no one was reprimanded or lost pay.

     Iosbaker said the increase in patient registrations was almost double the previous workload and he wants UIC to negotiate with the union over the new rate. Local 73 is considering whether to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board, Iosbaker said.

Staff Writer Fernando Diaz covers labor and unions for the Daily News. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 14, or fernando [at] chitowndailynews [dot] org.