Thank You for the Outpouring of Support for Our Days of Change

Community Groups

  • PA Interfaith Impact Network
  • Action United
  • One Pittsburgh
  • Fight Back Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Students in Solidarity with UPMC Workers
  • Pittsburgh United
  • Pittsburghers for Public Transit
  • Thomas Merton Center
  • Sierra Club
  • Just Harvest
  • Fight for Philly
  • Philly unemployment project
  • Mon valley unemployed committee
  • Media mobilizing project
  • Why not prosper

Elected Officials

  • City Council President Bruce Kraus
  • City Council Members:
    • Natalia Rudiak
    • Deb Gross
    • Daniel Lavelle
    • Daniel Gilman
    • Theresa Kail Smith
    • Corey O’Connor
  • State Rep. Erin Molchany
  • State Rep. Paul Costa
  • State Sen. Matt Smith
  • State Sen. Jay Costa
  • State Rep. Brandon Neuman
  • State Rep. Ed Gainey
  • State Rep. Dan Frankel
  • State Rep Mark Gergely
  • State Rep. Bill Kortz
  • State Rep. Jake Wheatley
  • State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl
  • State Rep. Dan Deasy
  • State Sen. Wayne Fontana
  • State Sen. Jim Ferlo
  • Lt. Gov. Candidate Mark Critz
  • Gov. Candidate John Hanger
  • County Controller Chelsa Wagner
  • City Controller Michael Lamb


Labor 

  • PA AFLCIO
  • Allegheny County Labor Council AFLCIO
  • United Steel Workers of America
  • Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23
  • UNITE HERE Local 57
  • IATSE Local 3
  • National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 84
  • SEIU PA State Council
  • United Mine Workers of America
  • District 1199C AFSCME
  • RWDSU
  • IBEW Local 29
  • AFGE

 

 

 

UPMC Can Help Strengthen Pittsburgh, Experts and Workers Tell City Council

Good jobs, healthcare access and quality investment in our communities. That was the focus of Wednesday’s hearing held by City Councilthe Pittsburgh City Council in order to shine a light on the widespread harm UPMC is inflicting on our communities in its unwillingness to invest in good jobs for a stronger Pittsburgh.

For too long, UPMC has been benefiting from our communities without paying its fair share in return. A host of experts, UPMC employees, patients and elected officials offered wide-ranging testimony that called our region’s largest employer out for its uncharitable ways.

UPMC workers spoke out about the unfairness of earning poverty wages within a healthcare enterprise making billions. “Even with my experience and extra training I still only make $11.97 an hour,” said Chaney Lewis, a transporter at UPMC Presbyterian. “For four out of the nine years I have been at UPMC, I worked through a wage freeze at $9.76 per hour, a starting wage only $1 more than what my mother made there 20 years ago when she was a UPMC housekeeper.”

While the strain caused by UPMC’s low wages have had a ripple effect on our region’s economy, UPMC’s attempts to quash its competition has threatened healthcare access for thousands who need it.  “I regularly get messages from people living with HIV, Parkinson’s, cancer or other serious illness who are fearful that their health will be compromised because they’ll be forced to leave a provider who has been charged with their care for years,” said State Rep. Dan Frankel from Allegheny County, who also testified on Wednesday. In response, Rep Frankel and Rep. Christiana from Beaver County have introduced House Bills 1621 and 1622 to ensure that healthcare providers like UPMC cannot deny patients on the sole basis of their type of insurance card.

This gathering of voices is the latest example of Pittsburgh citizens, politicians and patients standing up to say enough to UPMC’s disregard of our community’s welfare – from faith leaders risking arrest to hundreds of UPMC nurses from Altoona marching through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.  Together, we are joining hands all across the city to hold UPMC accountable to Pittsburgh’s families and our collective future.

“The key question facing Pittsburgh and our nation today is whether workers, communities, and elected officials once again have the courage and the conviction to build a new – in this case, 21st century – American middle class,” Keystone Research Economist Stephen Herzenberg said. “Without lifting the wage floor in the region’s dominant employer in its dominant service industry, Pittsburgh cannot rebuild its middle class. It’s as simple as that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Holds Food Bank for UPMC Workers in Need

Leslie Poston - Unit Secretary UPMC Presby

Leslie Poston – Unit Secretary UPMC Presby

Responding to the need of UPMC workers to rely on food banks, nearly 200 UPMC workers, faith and labor leaders, and community allies joined Congressman Mike Doyle on February 3 to donate food to workers at the city’s largest employer.

Even with $1.3 billion in profits in the last three years, $4 billion in reserves and 22 top executives paid $47.5 million a year, UPMC pays many of its employees so little that they face constant financial insecurity. Even working full-time, many are forced to rely on taxpayer programs—like food stamps, housing subsidies and even Medicaid—just to get by.

UPMC workers like Leslie Poston keep the heart and lung transplant unit running smoothly. She has been at UPMC for ten years but even working full time hours, she only brings home about $300 dollars a week. Because of UPMC’s poverty wages, she must use food banks to keep food on her table.

Community donates food to the workers of UPMC.

Community donates food to the workers of UPMC.

“Last week I saw UPMC’s giant ad in the paper saying UPMC gives to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank so that people in Pittsburgh can eat,” said Leslie Poston “This is a great thing. Generosity towards people in need is really beautiful. But the ad also struck a nerve, because I AM one of the people who uses a food bank. So are many of my coworkers.”

The reality is UPMC doesn’t pay its service sector workers, their largest number of workers, enough to sustain themselves or their families. Many experts agree and say that UPMC pays up to 30% less than what someone like Leslie would need to earn to support her family.

Congressman Mike Doyle calls on UPMC to create good jobs and grow the middle class.

Congressman Mike Doyle calls on UPMC to create good jobs and grow the middle class.

Congressman Doyle knows that the road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh goes through UPMC and called on the global healthcare giant to use its wealth and power to help the people who made it the success it is today live the American dream.

“The road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh begins at UPMC. Our state’s largest private employer has the power and ability to lift thousands of workers out of poverty and into the middle class,” Said Congressman Doyle “By working together with your employees you can grow the middle class and strengthen the economy for all of Pittsburgh.”

UPMC needs to do more for the community it serves, and Reverend Eric McIntosh, from St. James Episcopal Church, called on UPMC to remember its charitable mission and to put people ahead of profits.

“UPMC is morally bankrupt. UPMC has lost sight of its charitable mission, and its business practices are putting undue financial pressures on families relying on a paycheck from them and for Pittsburgh families picking up the slack where UPMC leaves off,” said Rev Eric. McIntosh of St. James Episcopal Church “UPMC is defining jobs and the economy in Pittsburgh, but not in a way that helps our families. We need UPMC to put people ahead of profits.”

Good Jobs. Healthy Pittsburgh.

In The News:

Rep. Mike Doyle Joins Workers Rallying Against UPMC – WESA FM

UPMC Now the “Enemy of Civil Rights”

You read that right.

And Pittsburgh civil rights leaders are angry. That’s why they’re taking action against what Vic Walczak of the ACLU has called UPMC’s attempt to nuke our country’s equal opportunity regulations.

Take Action – Sign The Petition And Tell UPMC: Hands Off Equal Opportunity

As a federal contractor, UPMC is required to abide by …. But UPMC doesn’t want to. And so they have sued in federal court to invalidate … not just for themselves, but for ALL employers in every state. If they succeed? Forty years of settled regulations protecting women and people of color?  Gone. Done and dusted.

“UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.” Vic Walczak Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

“UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.”
Vic Walczak Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

“This important anti-discrimination protection, in effect since Lyndon Johnson’s executive order in 1965, has helped reduce discrimination in programs nationwide, but one field that still needs major improvement is healthcare,” said Vic Walczak, Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania. “UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.”

“People fought long and hard for these protections that UPMC is threatening,” said Susan Frietsche for the Women’s Law Project. “Equal employment law ensures fairness in the workplace. If this legal challenge is successful it could hurt thousands of working families in Pittsburgh and across the country.”

We’re calling on UPMC to withdraw this radical and ill-advised suit. It’s time for UPMC to stop dodging responsibility for its actions. As our state’s largest employer, UPMC should be supporting, not fighting, its employees’ rights—rights to a fair workplace and rights to come together to improve jobs.

Sign the petition, and tell UPMC: Hands Off Equal Opportunity!

You’ll be joining civil rights leaders like:
Rep. Jake Wheatley
19th District, Allegheny

Rep. Erin Molchaney
22nd District, Allegheny

Pittsburgh City Council:
Bruce Kraus, President
Daniel Lavelle
Darlene Harris
Natalia Rudiak
Deb Gross
Dan Gilman
Corey O’Conner

Allegheny County Council:
Amanda Green-Hawkins

Faith Leaders:
Reverend Glenn Grayson
Wesley center AME Zion Church

Reverend Rodney Lyde
Baptist Temple Church

Reverend Eric McIntosh
St. James Episcopal Church

Community Groups:

NAACP Pittsburgh Branch
Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network
Service Employees International Union
ACLU-PA Greater Pittsburgh Chapter
Women’s Law Project
Pennsylvania NOW

First Pittsburgh NOW Chapter
East End Pittsburgh NOW Chapter
Squirrel Hill NOW Chapter
People for the American Way-PA
National Council of Jewish Women-PA
Black Law Student Association
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Jasiri X

Inequality For All – Free Movie Screening and Special Q&A With Robert Reich

Make It Our UPMC will be joining social justice organizations from the Carnegie Mellon campus and the Pittsburgh community to screen “Inequality for All,” the surprise pop culture sensation about families whose lives have been scarred by the new economy.  After the movie, Robert Reich (appearing virtually) will join Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and workers from across our city to talk with the audience about inequality and what we can do to change it.

“Inequality for All,” starring former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, has informed and challenged audiences in cities across the country. Driven by Reich’s humor, feistiness, and passion, the film highlights the fact that working families and the middle class are getting crushed while the super-rich game the system.

CEOs today earn an average of $5,000 per hour while low-wage workers earn just around minimum wage. “Inequality for All” ties the vast increase in income inequality to the loss of good union jobs, the diversion of economic growth from wages to CEO compensation and profits, the financialization of the economy, cutting taxes for the wealthy, and the failure of government to keep investing in education and infrastructure.

We know this all too well in Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh, the “eds and meds” economy has replaced the steel industry. The biggest employer in the city – and the state – is $10 billion health system UPMC, but the success of UPMC is not shared by most of us. UPMC has been a driver of low wages that are crippling the middle class. The median wage of a UPMC service worker is $12.18 an hour, or 8 percent to 30 percent below a basic sustaining wage in the area. UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff is among the highest paid hospital CEOs in the country with a $6 million compensation package.

Join us on November 18th for a free screening of this important film  and a special Skype Q&A Session with Robert Reich.

McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University Campus

5:15 – Pre-screening reception with sponsors’ stalls, pizza

6:15 – Movie screening

Stand up to Income Inequality in Pittsburgh – Join Us

 

UPMC: Stop Bullying Pittsburgh: Join us in Standing up to UPMC on Sept 7

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Join us on September 7th – and Demand UPMC Stop Bullying Pittsburgh!

In January we launched the Code of Conduct for a stronger, healthier Pittsburgh. Together, we called on UPMC to start acting like a real charity and end its behavior of abuse of workers’ rights.

Our work has made an impact, but UPMC is still fighting.  The mega-institution is still bullying the community by denying care to Community Blue subscribers, raising healthcare prices, suing the City, and firing workers who speak out to create a better life for their families.

Workers like Jim Staus, who after seven years of service to UPMC was still just making $11.81 an hour, have also been coming together to speak out for better jobs that will let them cover their basic expenses.

The time has come for us stand together. Join the workers of UPMC who are fighting for all working class people in Pittsburgh on September 7th as they rally and march on UPMC.

Will you add your voice, and demand that UPMC executives stop:

  • Firing and harassing workers organizing to build Pittsburgh’s middle class
  • Threatening to cut off access to patients who have the “wrong” insurance
  • Suing the taxpayers of Pittsburgh to avoid paying their fair share like the rest of us

The workers of UPMC are standing up for all of us. Do you have their backs?

Join us – Rally And March on UPMC
Oakland – Meet at the corner of Bigelow Blvd. and Forbes Ave in Oakland
11:00 AM

RSVP Online – Here
Together We Can Make It Our UPMC

Senator Jim Ferlo Writes Letter In Support Of UPMC Workers

Reverend John Welch, UPMC Worker Al Turner, Senator John Ferlo, and Reverend Rodney Lyde

Reverend John Welch, UPMC Worker Al Turner, Senator Jim Ferlo, and Reverend Rodney Lyde

On July 17th Senator Jim Ferlo and faith leaders joined UPMC shuttle drivers to deliver a clear message that the community will not tolerate UPMC’s recent firing of shuttle driver Al Turner and crackdown on workers’ speaking out for a better life and a voice on the job. The workers and their supporters took a delegation directly to Bart Wyss, Turner’s supervisor, to demand his immediate reinstatement.

Today Senator Ferlo wrote a letter to the UPMC drivers in support of their co-worker, Al Turner.

Dear UPMC Driver:

I was impressed to learn that a strong majority of the drivers in your department signed a letter supporting Al Turner and demanding that Al be brought back to work. On July 17th, along with Al’s pastor Reverend Lyde, several UPMC employees, and a group of community allies, I participated in the delivery of that letter to your supervisor, Bart Wyss.

We were all there to support Al because, like you, we know that he is a decent man and a good worker. Simply put, we believe that Al was fired for trying to form a union and make improvements at UPMC. Al is speaking up because he believes that all UPMC workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Instead of respecting his rights, Mr. Wyss and UPMC retaliated against him by taking away his livelihood.

I am becoming increasingly concerned about the reports of worker intimidation at UPMC and your department in particular. The National Labor Relations Board accused the shuttle driver management of illegal threats, surveillance, and trying to stop drivers from talking about forming a union. The unfair firing of Al is part of a pattern of intimidation. Each of you plays an important role in making UPMC the successful institution that it is. The bottom line is that you deserve to be paid a fair wage, to work with dignity, and to have a voice on the job.

I congratulate you for standing with Al and standing up for your rights. Generations of workers in western Pennsylvania uniting to improve their working conditions built the middle class in this region.  Pittsburgh’s economy has changed but my unwavering commitment to workers rights has not. I promise to be there with you at every step of your struggle and will continue to work with other elected and community leaders to monitor UPMC’s conduct closely.

If you have any information about UPMC management staff violating Federal labor law or otherwise interfering with your rights, please write or call my office immediately at412-621-3006.

Sincerely,

Jim Ferlo
Senator, 38th District

Payday at UPMC: Top 27 earners at UPMC get $47.5 million, nearly half of UPMC charity care expenditures

UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff

UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff

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
related organizations
Jeffrey A Romoff UPMC
CEO
$6,069,750
Elizabeth
Concordia
President of UPMC Hospital and Community
Services Division
$2,510,988
Ghassan Bejjani MD $2,482,944
Daniel
Drawbaugh
UPMC Senior VP and Chief Information Officer $2,236,740
Gregory K Peaslee UPMC
Senior VP for human resources
$2,120,920
Stanley
Marks MD
$2,053,039
James D Luketich MD $2,014,849
Diane
Holder
President of UPMC Insurance Division $1,910,367
Richard Spiro MD $1,854,825
Mark
Rodosky MD
$1,821,221
David Farner UPMC
Senior VP and chief of staff in office of the president
$1,780,722
Victor
Morell MD
$1,742,846
Charles Bogosta President
of UPMC International and Commercial Services Division
$1,641,872
Robert
J Cindrich
Senior adviser to UPMC president $1,535,591
Marshall Webster MD $1,395,528
Robert
A MeMichiei
UPMC CFO $1,363,341
Adnan Abla MD $1,359,098
Abhinav
Humar MD
$1,355,801
Sandra Danoff Former
Senior VP for Strategic Planning and Special Projects
$1,315,599
John
Innocenti
President of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside $1,294,322
Steven D Shapiro MD $1,164,898
Robert
M Friedlander MD
$1,159,013
C Talbot Heppenstall Jr UPMC
Treasurer
$1,133,766
Edward
T Karlovich
CFO for academic and community hospitals $1,097,274
Thomas McGough UPMC
Chief Legal Officer
$1,049,127
David
Martin
President of UPMC Passavant $1,040,310
Joon Sup Lee MD $1,020,844
TOTAL: $47,525,595

CBS News Investigates UPMC

CBS This Morning aired a segment—which puts Pittsburgh’s recent challenge to UPMC’s charitable status at the center of the growing movement to hold major nonprofits accountable. The piece points out that though UPMC, an international healthcare conglomerate with nearly $1 billion in profits, devotes only 2% of its budget to charity care, it receives millions in tax breaks each year as a result of its charity status.

 CBS This Morning Investigates High Earnings At UPMC.

CBS This Morning Investigates High Earnings At UPMC.

 VIEW THE SEGMENT HERE: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50147906n

The segment notes that UPMC ‘s  CEO makes $6 Million a year, more than any other not-for-profit hospital that CBS found in its public records search CBS reporter Terrell Brown also describes how non-profit hospitals are acting like Fortune 500 companies and driving up health care costs in our country.

Join us in holding UPMC accountable to our city.

Sign And Share The Code Of Conduct And Demand UPMC Act Like A Real Charity

Together We Can Make It Our UPMC

Leaders Who Stand Up To UPMC Win On Election Day

The results in Pittsburgh’s Democratic primary election confirmed what we’ve been saying all along. We want elected officials who will stand up to our city’s biggest bully – UPMC.

In the mayoral race and three competitive City Council races, candidates who were vocal supporters of the City’s challenge of UPMC’s charity status and the movement to hold UPMC accountable prevailed.

In District 8, Dan Gilman was the sole candidate who voiced support for the City’s challenge to UPMC’s tax-exempt status; his opponents deemed the challenge unwise.

In Districts 4 and 6, Natalia Rudiak and Daniel Lavelle issued public statements in support of the City’s challenge and have been active in the community effort to hold UPMC accountable.

Bill Peduto, the Democratic nominee to become the next mayor, announced his support for the City’s suit against UPMC on the day it was filed. His position that UPMC needs to be accountable to patients, workers and taxpayers was a clear part of his campaign, and featured prominently in his popular “Sweeper” ad.

We know this won’t be easy. UPMC’s decision to sue taxpayers rather than have an open and honest conversation with our community about how UPMC can be part of a stronger and healthier Pittsburgh is one indication of the fight ahead.

But we also know that holding UPMC accountable is of the highest important to Pittsburgh residents and the voters who chose their representatives yesterday.

Having our next Mayor and City Councilmembers firmly on the side of patients, caregivers and taxpayers moves us one step closer to making sure UPMC does its fair share for Pittsburgh.