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UPMC nurse and nurses union agree on contract

By: WJAC Web Staff

ALTOONA, Pa. -- The UPMC Nurses of Altoona voted on a contract, Friday.

The nurses voted yes with a 97 percent majority to ratify the contract to last three years.

After months of failed attempts, UPMC Altoona and its nurses union were able to reach an agreement Wednesday night after five days of negotiating.

Friday more than 800 nurses voted on the contract. The three-year deal touched on a number of issues the nurses wanted.

It just seemed like we were able to communicate better, there was more actual bargaining, said union President Paula Stellabutte. It was difficult because we had to compromise on some things but we actually worked together and got done in six days.

The top priorities for the nurses were patient care and the community.

After five months of negotiations we are proud to achieve a contract that protects our patients and our community, said nurse Jamie Weigand. We achieved our goals of providing quality care and quality jobs for the Altoona community, maintained our staffing guidelines, and reached fair compromises on health care wages and retirement.

Nurses at Fridays meeting said the negotiations were long but rewarding. 

The bargaining was tough, it was very tough, the hardest one weve ever done. 

The nurses hope to work better with UPMC and continue to move forward. 

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times