FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Matt Richards, 412-512-4943, firstname.lastname@example.org
Union nurses at Allegheny General Hospital ratify historic contract
Pittsburgh – Union nurses at Allegheny General Hospital ratified a new three-year union contract that makes historic investments in nursing care at the hospital and will begin to transform the nursing profession in Pittsburgh. The nurses announced the highlights of the agreement at a press conference this morning in Allegheny Commons Park where just last week, close to 400 nurses and their allies rallied for a new contract.
Some of the highlights of the contract include:
- Historic investments in nurse compensation:
- An average raise of 23% over the life of the contract, more than the 21% raise recently won by Kaiser Permanente workers in California.
- A starting rate of at least $40 an hour by the end of the contract for all nurses with a BSN degree.
- A new salary scale for salary and specialty nurses based on years of licensure, and significant raises for nurse practitioners.
- Strengthened staffing standards that are already unparalleled in Pennsylvania
- Secured a commitment to hiring 70 new per diem pool nurses (nurses trained to work in various departments) to reduce the use of agency and traveling nurses.
- Established sister units to reduce pulling of nurses from units with significant clinical differences.
- Made improvements to some unit-based nurse-to-patient ratios.
- Additional protections for nurse safety and well-being
- Lowered the co-pay for mental health visits so nurses can get the care they need.
- Additional commitements to the hospital’s existing “zero tolerance” policy for workplace violence and abuse of staff.
- The installation of additional weapon detection and panic alarms throughout the hospital.
“When we started getting ready for negotiations five months ago, we said this wouldn’t be business as usual. We set out to transform nursing not just at AGH, but in Pittsburgh. This contract is a huge step in that direction, and other hospitals will need to step up to meet the standards that we have set,” said Annale Yobbi, Vice President of the nurses’ union and a Lifeflight nurse at Allegheny General Hospital.
“We are so proud of what we accomplished in this contract together, and pleased that we were able to work with AGH management to reach a settlement that addresses many of the factors driving nurses away from the bedside. Now nurses know that if they want a stable career with the best wages, benefits, and staffing, they need to come to AGH,” said Angie Noel, a registered nurse at Allegheny General Hospital.
1200 nurses and nurse practitioners are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. They have been negotiating a new union contract with the hospital since Labor Day.
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SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting tens of thousands of professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of healthcare workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.