“With our vote, we have taken a big step forward in health care. We want to build good communities and support a quality, fair health system that works for all of us,” said Darlene Nicholson, a laboratory processor at AGH.
AGH workers voted overwhelmingly this week to form a union with SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania so they can come together for their patients and create stronger future for Pittsburgh. Service workers voted with 83 percent support and technical workers voted with 72 percent support.
1200 workers are joining the union—the largest group of hospital service and technical workers ever to organize in Pittsburgh!
I am a patient care tech at UPMC, and I know that whatever health system we work for, frontline hospital workers across Pittsburgh face a lot of the same challenges. We also share the same vision for an eds and meds economy that is built on good, family sustaining jobs and a city where all patients have access to high quality, affordable healthcare.
That’s why across Pittsburgh today, UPMC workers are cheering AGH workers’ success. We’re excited by this breakthrough and more determined than ever to stand up for good jobs and a union at UPMC, and to make sure our giant health system respects our rights.
It’s a new day in Pittsburgh.
Hospital workers are rising, building a movement to create a stronger voice for healthcare workers and strengthen our city’s middle class.
“We are thrilled to come together for our families, our patients, and all of Pittsburgh,” said Donald Copper, an advanced life support technician who has worked at AGH for nine years. “We are at the frontlines of the biggest industry in Pittsburgh and we are excited to work with each other and management to create a stronger, better future for our hospital.”
Patient Care Tech, UPMC Shadyside
Article: UPMC might own most of the hospitals on the region’s Monopoly board, but those hospitals are more dependent on Pittsburgh insurer Highmark’s payments than previously known.
In its audited fiscal 2014 financial report, UPMC states that 31 percent of its $6 billion in net patient revenue, or about $1.9 billion, comes from non-Medicare Highmark insurance reimbursement payments. Only Medicare, with 33 percent, represented a larger slice of UPMC’s revenue pie.
Caregivers from UPMC’s Sherwood Oaks retirement facility in Cranberry tell UPMC executives it’s time to raise their wages.
“We’re here to tell UPMC to pay fair wages,” said CNA Pam Scott. “We make UPMC what they are because we build them from the inside out. We take care of their residents who we think of as our family. When we’re not happy, they are not happy. High turnover affects residents.”
“According to DePasquale, there are some worries that the tobacco settlement funds given to UPMC are being used in their PR war with competitors.”
Nearly 2,000 people joined with UPMC workers on a frigid morning March 3 and March 4 in what became the largest protest in Pittsburgh in 20 years to demand that UPMC provide better jobs for a strong middle class in Pittsburgh.
The gathering brought three basic demands to UPMC and together their voices were heard loud and clear: UPMC, the region’s largest employer, needs to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour, to erase UPMC worker medical debt and let workers form a union at the hospital system without retaliation or intimidation.
After two days of taking over the streets of downtown Pittsburgh and sitting down in protest at the front doors of UPMC headquarters, Mayor Bill Peduto heard us and UPMC heard us. The day after the mass protest, the mayor met with UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff.
Our calls for change blanketed the local news, and even national media took notice of the history we’re making. As the conversation dominates the news and our movement builds momentum every day, here’s a look at coverage of the Days of Change in Pittsburgh and other recent news clips:
Union sees national focus in UPMC organizing effort
Hundreds protest UPMC over wages for service employees (video)
Pittsburgh City Paper
Uniting in protest: Criticism of UPMC has stretched beyond its workers
Philadelphia Daily News
Are we in Kiev? Why no, it’s Pittsburgh
Workers, Activists Target UPMC Offices
UPMC protest: Day 2
Protesters Speak Out Against UPMC
Mayor Peduto and UPMC chief Romoff talk ‘major issues’
Pittsburgh Business Times
Peduto working toward UPMC resolution (video) (press conference)
All jobs not equal at UPMC (column)
2012 was a good year for UPMC’s top brass. UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff got a $90,000 raise, making Romoff one of the most highly compensated not-for-profit hospital CEOs in America. His total compensation at the health system tops $6 million, nearly two and a half times the CEO compensation of the Cleveland Clinic, next highest grossing nonprofit health system in the US.
UPMC’s millionaire’s club welcomed some new members too jumping from 22 top earners at UPMC receiving packages at or above $1 million in 2011 to 27 today while thousands of UPMC frontline workers struggled to make it on poverty wages – some even having to rely on public assistance to make ends meet. According to data from the state Department of Public Welfare, UPMC has the third-highest number of full-time workers on Medicaid assistance in Pennsylvania, just behind Wal-Mart and McDonalds.
The $47.5 million in compensation paid to executives making more than $1 million a year represents 49 percent – nearly half! – of the $96.2 million the hospital system claims to have spent on charity care.
Even under UPMC’s convoluted definition of what it claims to be “charity care,” UPMC spends less than 2 percent of net patient revenue on charity care, and charges the highest rates among Pittsburgh hospitals for many routine treatments. Yet the hospital giant continues to make millionaires of those at the top.
Lavish executive pay and highest prices in the city for treatment while spending little on charity care: is that how our region’s biggest employer and health care provider, a designated nonprofit “purely public charity” should act?
Look below to see who’s making millions at UPMC.
Source: UPMC 2011 990 filing, pages 304-312.
|Name||Title||All Compensation from UPMC and
|Jeffrey A Romoff||UPMC
|President of UPMC Hospital and Community
|Ghassan Bejjani MD||$2,482,944|
|UPMC Senior VP and Chief Information Officer||$2,236,740|
|Gregory K Peaslee||UPMC
Senior VP for human resources
|James D Luketich MD||$2,014,849|
|President of UPMC Insurance Division||$1,910,367|
|Richard Spiro MD||$1,854,825|
Senior VP and chief of staff in office of the president
of UPMC International and Commercial Services Division
|Senior adviser to UPMC president||$1,535,591|
|Marshall Webster MD||$1,395,528|
|Adnan Abla MD||$1,359,098|
Senior VP for Strategic Planning and Special Projects
|President of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside||$1,294,322|
|Steven D Shapiro MD||$1,164,898|
M Friedlander MD
|C Talbot Heppenstall Jr||UPMC
|CFO for academic and community hospitals||$1,097,274|
Chief Legal Officer
|President of UPMC Passavant||$1,040,310|
|Joon Sup Lee MD||$1,020,844|