UPMC, nurses set more talks

Despite UPMC Altoona having made its “last, best and final” contract offer to unionized registered nurses Friday, triggering a notice for a one-day strike Feb. 11, the hospital has “reached out” to schedule additional talks, the union said Wednesday.

A session has been set for Friday, according to a hospital news release from spokesman Dave Cuzzolina.

The new development may begin to fulfill the nurses’ hope to resolve the contract impasse before the scheduled strike date, as expressed at a news conference Tuesday.

“We’re pleased to be going back to the table,” said nurse Sue Delozier, quoted in the union news release Wednesday. “Our goal is to reach a contract that ensures we are able to continue delivering the high quality care our patients deserve and maintain the good jobs we have.”

“The hospital is encouraged and sees this as a favorable step,” Cuzzolina stated.

Both sides said they didn’t plan to provide additional information.