The crowd was really amazing and it wasn't just Altoona nurses. Locked out UWUA workers - from Penelec - came down with fire wood and burn barrels to help keep picketing nurses and supporters warm. AFSCME workers came and the AFL-CIO was represented too.
Union laborers of every stripe stood out in the cold, alongside Altoona RNs to show UPMC that Altoona nurses and our community will not be bullied. We will stand together and we will stand strong.
Altoona's nurses voted, because of UPMC's insistance on totally unacceptable terms including lower levels of staffing, to have a one day strike on February 11. They chose a one day strike because, as SEIU Healthcare PA President Neal Bisno said at a rally this evening, "Nurses do not go on strike lightly...Nurses go on strike and nurses went on strike to protect our community and to protect our patients."
|SEIU Healthcare PA President,|
primitive? Go ahead, click that link and look for it. I promise, it's worth it.
|People filing into AAHS auditorium|
I don't think I'd offend anyone in declaring the everyone's favorite speaker of the evening was Dominic Sgro, Director of AFSCME Disctric Council 83.
|Dominic Sgro, AFSCME|
I admit that I've got a couple chapters to catch up on for my Political Opinion class and I need to study for a Spanish test, but being at this rally tonight was well worth my time. Any time we can stand by nurses who stand by us when we most need support, it's worth it. If you're not in this fight yet, standing by Altoona's RNs, it's time to get in it. Look at what UPMC is doing in Pittsburgh and understand that no matter how independent they say that UPMC Altoona's president and board are, they're still a part of UPMC. It's time to stand up to UPMC and make sure that they understand that we won't let our nurses and our community be bullied.