NORTH­EAST UPMC staffers join global strikes over pay, union rights

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Michael San­dler

Sev­eral dozen staffers at UPMC’s Pitts­burgh hos­pi­tals went on strike Thurs­day in sol­i­dar­ity with work­ers world­wide protest­ing for higher min­i­mum wages and greater union rights.

The protests come on the heels of UPMC’s an­nounce­ment last month that it plans to raise the min­i­mum wage of its work­ers to $15 an hour.

The strike at UPMC didn’t af­fect hospi­tal oper­a­tions since it hap­pened off-site and in­volved a small frac­tion of the sys­tem’s em­ploy­ees. Among those who par­tic­i­pated were re­cep­tion­ists and dis­charge spe­cial­ists.

Work­ers ac­knowl­edged that UPMC’s move to in­crease wages was a vic­tory, but the group that walked off the job said it’s about more than money. Some staffers say hospi­tal lead­er­ship has hin­dered their at­tempts to union­ize.

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