Strike Deadline Looms for UPMC Altoona Nurses

Strike Deadline Looms for UPMC Altoona Nurses

Talks scheduled with contract ending on Friday.

Four days of  negotiations are scheduled this week in hopes of avoiding a strike by registered nurses at UPMC Altoona. The nurses' contract ends on Friday.
A spokeswoman for the nurses says the administration at the hospital and SEIU, the union representing the 800 RNs, will meet Tuesday and every day until the end of the contract.

They've apparently stepped up their efforts to come to an agreement. In a news release last week,  the union said only two more sessions had been scheduled.

The nurses have voted to authorize their bargaining committee to send a strike notice, if they're not able to reach a contract. A spokeswoman for the union said this weekend , striking is not their goal and they're focused on achieving a contract this week.

Nurses say they're asking for better staffing,  but that management is proposing a wage freeze and cuts to benefits. UPMC Altoona has said previously that it would not comment ongoing negotiations.

But in response to the strike notice, a spokesman said the hospital will be prepared for every possibility and will not let patient care be negatively affected, under any circumstances.

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