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UPMC nurses fighting for jobs, quality care

As a registered nurse at UPMC Altoona with 40 years of experience, I have dedicated my career to providing my patients with the highest quality of care possible.

When UPMC first purchased Altoona Regional Hospital, it promised our community world-class health care, investment and civic responsibility. If the last six years have taught us anything, it’s that UPMC never intended to honor those promises.

The current union contract negotiations between UPMC Altoona nurses and UPMC management is a prime example.

Instead of making sure that our hospital can recruit and retain skilled, experienced nurses, UPMC seems intent on fueling a race to the bottom — rolling back working conditions for nurses, trying to weaken its contractual responsibility to ensure staffing standards and continuing to pay nurses well below the median hourly wages for nurses both in Altoona and across Pennsylvania.

If UPMC were serious about providing world-class health care to Blair County, it would invest in patient care and invest in the 700 nurses who are vital to caring for our community and making our hospital thrive.

Our community deserves the very best nurses, and we know full well that a $19 billion global health enterprise has the resources to do better by nurses, by patients and by our community.

We deserve better, our patients deserve better, and we will not settle a union contract that moves our community backward.

Paula Stellabotte, RN

Altoona

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