Howard Brown Health Union Work Stoppage Concludes
(Chicago, IL, January 5, 2023) – Following a three-day labor strike, Howard Brown Health recommits to working with union staff as they return to work and maintaining its high-quality services and program for patients and the communities it serves.
“Throughout the strike, our patients and their care have been our top priority,” said David Ernesto Munar, president and CEO of Howard Brown. “We are grateful to all of our staff for their continued dedication to improving the wellbeing of the community this week.”
Across its 11 clinic locations and all Brown Elephant locations, Howard Brown continued to welcome the public during the strike. Every clinic in the agency’s network delivered vital health care services despite reduced teams, providing critical walk-in, dental, behavioral health, youth development and primary care, and social service visits. Patients seeking care experienced minimal disruption as both union and non-union staff continued to provide services.
Earlier this week, the agency enacted a cost-saving and revenue-generating action plan, including a reduction in workforce, to help stabilize its budget. The agency has been working to close a fiscal year $12 million revenue shortfall created by recent, severe losses in federal program funding. The plan will also help Howard Brown operate the nonprofit agency more effectively and reduce annual costs without cutting patient services.
Howard Brown will continue negotiations with union employees in good faith. The agency will meet with union representatives in the coming weeks to bargain a contract. Leadership will also work with employees to demonstrate its commitment to work collaboratively.
“We have learned a lot over the last three days that will help us improve teamwork, intradepartmental collaboration and communications to deliver on our core commitments to patients,” said Munar. “We will continue the vital conversations we are having about how to improve Howard Brown for everyone – patients and staff.”
Howard Brown Health is a federally qualified health center serving more than 40,000 adults and youth at 11 clinics on the North, South and Northwest Sides of Chicago. Howard Brown offers a range of key services including primary medical care, HIV/STI prevention and youth services.
Howard Brown has regularly provided labor relations updates on its website and has previously posted the following related public statements:
Wren O’Kelley, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing