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January 28, 2014

Altoona nurses plan one-day strike

JOHNSTOWN — Nurses at UPMC Altoona will stage a one-day strike on Feb. 11, the union announced today.

“Registered nurses at UPMC Altoona have voted by 93 percent majority to reject UPMC's contract offer and send a strike notice,” spokeswoman Karen Gownley said in a press release from Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania unit.

“Nurses were prepared to continue negotiations, but UPMC issued their final offer last Friday,” Gownley said.

The hospital is disappointed by the action, a UPMC statement said.

“We believe that our last, best, and final offer, which the union failed to ratify, is fair to our nurses and financially prudent for the hospital,” the hospital said today.

Nurses will be brought in to continue medical services without interruption, the statement said.

“In the event of a strike, UPMC Altoona’s primary concern will be to continue providing high quality health care services to our patients in a comfortable and safe environment,” the statement said.

“We plan to continue all services without interruption, including inpatient care and all outpatient testing, surgeries, and procedures,” it said. “The surgery center and Station Medical Center will operate as usual, as will the emergency department and trauma service.”

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