In support of RNs

As I read every post and article regarding the RN strike at UPMC Altoona, it saddens and angers me. There are always two sides to the story, yet UPMC will have you believe that this entire ordeal is the RNs’ fault.

I congratulate and encourage the RNs to continue their strong stance against one of the most powerful and lucrative charities in our state.

UPMC has an impressive track record with state of the art healthcare technology, spending millions for their charities and oppressing their employees. While they will have you believe the RNs of Altoona are demanding an exorbitant amount of money for wages and pensions, this is untrue.

The RNs are desperately fighting to maintain the benefits that have been in place for many years and to keep the community safe by imposing safe patient staffing ratios.

The Mirror would like you to believe that the RNs should be quiet and accept the UPMC contract just to align with the numerous other hospitals UPMC owns. These other hospitals are also fighting to maintain safe patient staffing ratios and to obtain better benefits; unfortunately, they are not represented by an union.

Many workers have been terminated for even saying the word union. UPMC already has numerous lawsuits pending for unfair labor practices. UPMC would rather hire temporary nurses at a cost of $2 million than to give a fair contract to their employees.

Finally, I would like to pose a question to the senior executives at UPMC Altoona who stated the temporary nurses are “highly trained, very experienced and exceed the standards set by the State Department of Health, Joint Commission and UPMC Altoona.”

Would these nurses accept the contract that you are proposing to your own nurses?

Matthew McCaulley

State College