On Tuesday March 17th, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to stand withUPMC Workers in their fight to win $15 and the right to form a union without fear of retaliation.
Despite the unity of workers across our city, UPMC continues to hold Pittsburgh back. Just this November, the federal labor board ruled that UPMC continues to engage in “widespread and egregious misconduct”. Right now, there’s an OSHA investigation underway concerning a cleaning product that makes workers very sick, though, as one manager put it, it’s easier on the furniture. And UPMC’s official position on jobs at the largest employer is that family-supporting jobs are a good idea, but that’s not realistic.
Pittsburgh believes that if our largest employer isn’t setting a good example, they’re setting a bad one, and that will affect all of us in the city.
Join UPMC workers and the City Council by signing onto the resolution and tell UPMC Pittsburghers need $15 and a union.
Pittsburgh City Council Resolution
WHEREAS, this City Council consistently promotes economic well-being for all by steadfastly supporting the efforts of Pittsburgh workers to obtain a living wage; and
WHEREAS, the struggles of working people to win just compensation, equal treatment, and the right to form a union without interference or fear of retaliation have long been essential to the people of Pittsburgh; and
WHEREAS, thousands of UPMC workers work full time yet do not earn enough to support their families, with a typical UPMC service worker earning from 8% to 30% below a basic family wage and many make 31% to 59% below this standard so that many are forced to rely on food banks; and
WHEREAS, UPMC has the third highest number of full-time workers on Medicaid for their healthcare, after Walmart and McDonald’s; and
WHEREAS, UPMC service workers are the largest group of low wage workers at the largest employer in our city, and
WHEREAS, workers of color and women workers are disproportionately represented and especially concentrated in UPMC’s lowest paying jobs, while our city has the third highest rate of poverty among working-age African-Americans of major US metropolitan areas, and average wages for African-Americans in Pittsburgh are second and seventh lowest in the country for men and women, respectively; and
WHEREAS, UPMC is a $11 billion global health enterprise with over $4 billion in reserves and hundreds of millions in profits each year, paying 27 executives and key employees more than $1 million each in 2014, with their combined pay totaling roughly half of the value of charity care provided by the system; and
WHEREAS, UPMC workers’ attempts to redress these inequities by calling for a union continue to be met with what a National Labor Relations Board judge has called “such egregious and widespread misconduct so as to demonstrate a general disregard for employees’ statutory rights,” including illegal surveillance, intimidation, discrimination and firing; and
WHEREAS, paying UPMC workers $15 an hour would put $75 million more in the hands of UPMC service workers, and would also result in $38.3 million and $53.4 million in new economic activity and roughly 400 new jobs as a result of increased spending by these workers, as well as $500,000 in new revenue for the City of Pittsburgh and $1 million in new revenue for the Pittsburgh Public Schools; and
WHEREAS, thousands of people from our city’s faith, community, civil rights, labor and worker advocacy organizations have demonstrated their commitment to UPMC workers’ cause and their call for broadly-shared prosperity and an economy that works for all, and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that City Council stands with UPMC workers in their fight to win $15.00 and the right to form their union without interference or retaliation and that Council will seek ways to move our City forward and build a better and more equal future for all workers.
Sponsored by Councilmember Natalia Rudiak
Co-Sponsored by Council President Bruce Kraus and Councilmembers Rev. Ricky V. Burgess, Daniel Gilman, Deborah L. Gross, Darlene M. Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith, R. Daniel Lavelle, and Corey O’Conner