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Allegheny General Hospital nurses rally ahead of contract negotiations

Allegheny General Hospital nurses rally ahead of contract negotiations
Allegheny General Hospital nurses rally ahead of contract negotiations 02:01

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Hundreds of registered nurses from Allegheny General Hospital rallied on the North Shore on Wednesday. 

They say they're fed up and something has to change. They say their upcoming contract negotiation with AHN is the perfect time to make that happen.

It's said that nurses are the backbone of the health care system, but many nurses say their backs are breaking.
The workload, the pay, the stress and the staffing shortages were all made worse by the pandemic.

"In the wake of the COVID pandemic, insufficient staffing and nearly unmanageable nurse-to-patient ratios have forced nurses away from the bedside or from the profession altogether in numbers unlike anything we have seen before," one nurse said.

On Wednesday, nurses gathered outside of Allegheny General Hospital on the North Side. They're preparing for contract negotiations with AHN and say things must change.

They say the shortage of nurses is one of the biggest problems. They say the Patient Safety Act would help. It limits the number of patients that nurses care for during their shifts. It passed the state House and has gone to the state Senate but still remains in limbo.

The nurses say they want to have their voices heard in the new contract negotiations and say they want to set new standards for nursing in Pittsburgh.

"We fully expect these negotiations to be the most consequential in 25 years in our nurse union here at AGH," another nurse said.

Allegheny Health Network spokesperson Dan Laurent said in a statement: 

"At Allegheny Health Network, we respect the right of our employees to organize and participate in related activities that do not interfere with the operations of our hospitals and our ability to provide high-quality health care services to our patients and the community. We are committed to offering employees at every level – including both represented and non-represented members of the workforce – wages and benefits that are fair and competitive in the market, and a work-life experience that is fulfilling and conducive to the delivery of high-quality health care services. We are committed to bargaining in good faith with our represented employees to reach agreements that live up to those standards."

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