UPMC Altoona, nurses to talk despite strike vote

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's hospital in Altoona has scheduled contract talks with its nurses' union, even though the nurses have already rejected what the hospital called its "last, best and final" offer and have planned a one-day strike next month.

UPMC Altoona spokesman Dave Cuzzolina says the bargaining session will happen Friday and says, "The hospital is encouraged and sees this as a favorable step."

The nurses announced plans for a one-day strike on Feb. 11 after rejecting UPMC's last contract offer.

A union news release quotes nurse Sue Belozier as saying, "We're pleased to be going back to the table."

The 380-bed hospital about 85 miles east of Pittsburgh became UPMC Altoona when it affiliated with the Pittsburgh-based hospital network last year. It was previously known as Altoona Regional Hospital.

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