More than 170 nurses at UPMC McKeesport have won a new contract that give nurses the support they need to make good lives for themselves and their families while providing excellent care to patients. This new contract comes just days after McKeesport nurses, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner and local community members held a vigil in the pouring rain calling on UPMC to come to the table with serious proposals that protect good nursing jobs and high-quality care.
“Today we celebrate the power of our collective voice, and it goes to show you why Pittsburgh and America need unions,” said Lyn Musser, a UPMC McKeesport nurse and resident of West Mifflin. “UPMC spent enormous amounts of time and money to block us from even reaching the bargaining table, but we wouldn’t be silenced by their divisive tactics. With our new contract, we can focus on and strengthen the most important part of our jobs: advocating for the people we care for.”
In their new contract which runs through 2021, nurses at UPMC McKeesport have won:
- Raises totaling 6.75% over the next three years;
- A secure pension that can’t be eliminated, frozen or reduced;
- Strong protections to maintain jobs, pay and keep the union;
- Maintained time off plans and scheduling protections; and
- Consistent nurse scheduling and assignment processes that put patient care first.
Across the state, nurses and members of SEIU Healthcare PA are leading an effort to strengthen staffing in hospitals and other care facilities. Last week, Governor Wolf expressed his support for safe staffing laws after a roundtable discussion with nearly a dozen Pittsburgh nurses. Since the start of the year, thousands of nurses who are members of SEIU Healthcare PA have bargained for contracts and talked to their elected representatives to ensure Pennsylvanians are getting the dedicated care they need and nurses aren’t stretched to the breaking point.
“We’re proud to help move our hospital and our community forward,” said Heather Frye, RN. “With our union, we can make sure the success of massive hospital systems like UPMC is shared by the families and caregivers who live and work here. And even while we stay focused on working collaboratively with management, we’re also staying vigilant against any efforts by UPMC to try and divide us again.”
Earlier this year, after UPMC waged a deliberate attempt to take away nurses’ rights at work, McKeesport nurses voted by a 3-to-1 margin in favor of their union.