UPMC Altoona RNs are bargaining their union contract with UPMC, the largest private employer in both Blair County and in Pennsylvania. As such, it receives billions of dollars from taxpayers — in tax exemptions, Medicare and Medicaid payments, and other subsidies. UPMC has a responsibility to partner with nurses to ensure the highest standards of staffing and patient care, and strengthen the middle class in our community.
When UPMC rolls back conditions for nurses, too many nurses leave to seek employment elsewhere. Inadequate pay and benefits and understaffing translates into vacancies and a loss of experience the patients at Altoona.
When UPMC bought the hospital in 2013, it promised “health care of the highest quality” and great “civic responsibility.” UPMC has broken that promise. The community can’t receive “health care of the highest quality” when there aren’t enough nurses to safely staff hospital units and when UPMC Altoona nurses leave the facility within the first year of being hired due to poor conditions.
A $19 billion global health enterprise can do better. In their fight to build a strong, fair union contract, nurses come together for bargaining, hold “sticker days” to share their message, and even put up a billboard to let the community know: We are fighting to improve the hospital your family counts on.