ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ)–UPMC Altoona and nurses union SEIU Healthcare reached a tentative three-year agreement that invests in current and future nursing staff.

This proposed agreement would be from 2023 to 2025. UPMC Altoona and the Altoona Union Nurses call this a win, because of its investment in the staff and community.

In a statement to WTAJ, President of UPMC Altoona Chapter of SEIU Healthcare PA Kim Heverly, RN, said they had to fight for the patients and nurses. However, they are grateful they were able to make it happen.

“Nurses are proud to stand up for our patients and our community in the face of a multibillion-dollar healthcare corporation. UPMC Altoona is dealing with an unprecedented staffing crisis, and our goal in negotiations was to reach a contract that will stabilize our hospital.
Despite UPMC’s more than $24 billion in operating revenue, nurses had to push for every single penny of investment for this hospital and our patients in this agreement. We’re proud we negotiated a union contract that forces UPMC to invest in our community.”

While the completed deal has not been disclosed, UPMC said overall eligible nurses could earn more than 30% wage increases over the three year contract. That’s done through wage adjustments, annual increases and career ladder opportunities. Other notable highlights:

  • Year 1 wage increases of 8% (5% wage adjustment and 3% annual increase).
  • The 5% wage adjustment will be retroactively paid to you starting with the first pay period in November 2022.
  • 5.75% annual increase total over years 2 and 3 (3% in year 2, and 2.75% in year 3)
  • A new, simplified Accelerated Career Ladder that offers additional opportunities for wage increases for nurses in inpatient and procedural areas, providing increases of 14% (with step wage increases of 5%, 4%, and 5% available in the ladder)
  • Increases to the hourly wage shift differential, charge pay, and BSN differential, and the addition of a night program differential to align with recent UPMC changes.
  • Starting rates for nursing positions will be increased to $28/hour for nurses without a BSN and $29.50/hour for nurses with a BSN.

Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter

These changes would also help with recruitment efforts for the hospital. Union members are expected to vote on this on Wednesday December 21.