Union, hospital reach tentative agreement

SEIU Illinois and The Loretto Hospital reached a tentative contract agreement last week. The new contract includes wage increases, regular raises for staff and staffing protections. Workers will vote on the agreement on Wednesday. On Monday, they’ll will gather outside the hospital as part of the “Strike for Black Lives National Day of Action” to their solidarity for workers across the country “calling for the resources, wages and workplace protections needed to protect Black lives on the job and in our communities.”

Workers at Loretto Hospital threaten to strike

SEIU Illinois has announced that the nearly 200 workers it represent at the Austin hospital have authorized a strike as early as July 20. SEIU accuses Loretto of unfair labor practices and failing to bargain in good faith. The hospital says it’s “offered favorable terms, especially in light of the current economic environment.”

Four Austin businesses awarded grants from city

The businesses – Avery and Pryor Construction, DLV Printing Service, L. May Creations and T&C Fitness Club – will receive a total of $717,320 from the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. It was started in 2016 to help support commercial corridors in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. In the latest round of funding, 32 businesses on the West, South and Southwest Sides will be getting a total of $5.4 million.

Dozens attend rally in Austin after deadly weekend

People gathered for a rally to remember a toddler and 13-year-old who were killed in separate shootings over the weekend in Austin. They were two of more than 100 people injured or killed in shootings in Chicago over Father’s Day weekend. Faith leaders and community groups are offering a $13,000 reward for information leading to the person who killed 3-year-old Mekhi James.

Juneteenth celebrated on West Side

West Side organizations hosted events in celebration of Juneteenth on Friday. Commemorating Juneteenth this year was seen as especially important in the wake of the national movements sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Local nonprofit calls for unity in black community at food giveaway

During Thursday’s event, organized by Action Now, leaders from community groups spoke about the need to empower black neighborhoods, heal divisions and affect lasting change. Deborah Harris, executive director of Action Now, said while they needed to “serve people right then and there,” the bigger mission is to start “rebuilding unity in the black community, rebuilding power in the black community, rebuilding resources of the black community.”