Registered nurses at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh ratified their first-ever union contract Friday and began working under it immediately, according to a press release.
The three-year pact with Allegheny Health Network will expire Aug. 20, 2024.
Under the new pact, nurses get pay raises each year and more ability to address staffing issues, according to the announcement. Contract details were not released.
The nurses rallied this summer for better working conditions and last month authorized a strike notice to management at the Bloomfield hospital. Both parties had been negotiating since January after the nurses joined SEIU Healthcare in August 2020.
“Coming together as a union, we were able to negotiate a contract that respects nurses and makes important new investments in our profession,” said Deb Burlett, registered nurse in labor and delivery, in the announcement. “Ensuring front-line nurses have a strong voice is the only way to fix the nursing crisis and guarantee our patients get the care they deserve.”
Nurse shortages hit locally this year at private home care agencies, personal care homes, assisted living and nursing homes, community hospitals and sprawling academic and tertiary care hospitals. Management at those locations have been having a tough time filling positions, offering hefty signing bonuses to lure in new hires.
AHN spokesman Dan Laurent said the contract will be a benefit when recruiting and retaining nurses while remaining fiscally responsible.
“The contract ratified this weekend is reflective of our organization’s strong commitment to negotiating in good faith to achieve a positive outcome for our employees and for the hospital, and it was driven by a collective desire by Allegheny Health Network and SEIU to work together in the best interests of our patients and the communities we serve,” he said in a statement.
This contract only affects nurses at West Penn Hospital.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .