On behalf of the UPMC Altoona nurses, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge every person who supported us during our lengthy contract negotiations with UPMC.
We were touched by every gesture of unity, from the honks and waving, to those providing food, hot drinks, shelter and tons of hand warmers.
From those who stood with us in the cold, to those who wrote letters to the editor, spoke on our behalf and prayed for us, we are so grateful for the kindness.
We were particularly appreciative to our "big brothers" of Penelec, who were outside extra early in the morning to make sure we would be warm.
We were overwhelmed with the amount of support we received, and we want you to know that with the help of all of you, we were able to achieve the goals we had set for ourselves.
We can compete to retain and recruit talented nurses, keep sufficient staff for our patients, work to create a safer environment for all and work with management on quality initiatives to keep our services the best in the area.
Rest assured that we are back at the bedside and working collaboratively with our hospital management team to implement our new contract.
We wanted our supporters to know that we will always be committed to giving every patient the quality care they expect and deserve.
SEIU Health Care PA
(The writer is the president of the local registered nurses union at UPMC?Altoona.)