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UPMC Adverts Strike

 

By Brian Krasman

Daily News Staff Writer

 

Nurses at UPMC McKeesport have a new three year contract after a vote yesterday afternoon

The motion for a rubber stamp, averted a potential strike that was to take place at 6:40 this morning if new pacts were not agreed to.

"We are pleased to announce that the nurses represented by(Service Employees International Union Local 585) at UPMC McKeesport (yesterday) ratified the contract with a vote of 153-67,"said Edward E. Mcginley, chief spokesperson at UPMC Health System. "The new contract goes into effect immediately and will continue untill Dec. 21,2002."

Ann Brumfield, senior representative for SEIU Local 585,said the nurses will receive a 3.75 percent increase the first year of the deal, a 3.25 increase the second year and a 3 percent increase the final year of the agreement.

A few language adjustments were made to the deal, and modest co-payments were approved. In addition, nurses will be able to keep union sponsored pension plan and will get paid overtime for work over 8 hours a day.

"Its a good contract, "Brumfield said.

Although the pact was passed 67 nurses still voted against the deal. Brumfield said some did not like the medical insurance co-payments, and some disliked the new pay scale, which she said includes more steps.

"People have to take a little longer to get to the top," Brumfield explained.

The agreement was sparked, Brumfield said, by the insistence of nurses to get a deal done instead of letting the issue linger. She said the approval of the new deal proves it does not pay to be "wishy-washy."

"The nurses made it clear that we will have a contract, or we will have a strike, "Brumfield said, We will not let this go on and on."