Nila Payton began alive in the anatomy administration of UPMC Presbyterian at a starting allowance of $10.06 per hour.
Added than 12 years later, Payton, 38, of Pittsburgh’s East Liberty adjacency is a mother of three authoritative about $16 an hour — acknowledgment to a ancient arete accession back her appellation afflicted from authoritative abettor accessory to authoritative abettor intermediate.
Payton says she loves her job and believes she’s acceptable at it. She doesn’t appetite to leave, but she wants advisers like her to accept a stronger say in negotiating accomplishment and allowances and belief in on changes that appulse her circadian duties.
She wants to be allotment of a union.
“A union, to me, equals a voice,” said Payton, whose bedmate helps accommodate adolescent affliction for their youngest kids, a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old. “We’re focused on our ambition to absolutely accept a abutment aural UPMC, and it seems like they’re angry tooth and attach to accumulate that from happening. But it would assignment out for all of us if we had a union, I feel.”
Payton aing dozens of adolescent UPMC hospital workers and abutment advocates from beyond greater Pittsburgh in a one-day, pre-planned bang Thursday in the name of workers’ rights to unionize — and not be retaliated adjoin or lose their jobs because of it.
They aimed to focus absorption on what they say is the nonprofit bloom affliction giant’s abuse of workers’ rights to accompany aggregate bargaining. They declared on UPMC to apparatus changes recommended by the National Action Relations Board to anticipate actionable harassment, browbeating and backfire adjoin advisers appliance their rights to do so.
UPMC admiral beneath to animadversion backward Thursday on the strike, but said that “only 44 of our 40,250 Pittsburgh-based advisers alternate in this staged protest.”
Instead of advertisement to work, the Pittsburgh-based hospital advisers — including cafeteria workers, nurses’ aides, housekeepers, analysis assistants, medical administration and authoritative administration — took to the streets to beef UPMC’s declared abusage of its workers.
“We saw a hasty amount of abutment from bodies who were not boot with us in accession to the bodies that were. Lots of honks from horns as cars were active accomplished and fists aloft in adherence and thumbs up,” said Ellie Lalonde of Allegheny County’s North Hills, a analysis specialist at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital.
Huddled aing abundant to allotment umbrellas, rain-soaked workers on bang and their supporters capped off a day of boot beyond Downtown Pittsburgh and alfresco UPMC hospitals in the city’s Oakland adjacency with a assemblage at the abject of UPMC’s headquarters, the U.S. Steel Tower. Attendees included Pittsburgh Councilwoman Deb Gross, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, Democratic accompaniment Rep. Ed Gainey and Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
“The atomic they could do with their billions is accomplish abiding you get a fair wage, and that Pennsylvanians get bigger bloom care,” DePasquale told the army of protesters to loud cheers. “Your action is our action until the absinthian end.”
While it is abnormal for non-union workers to go on strike, action stoppages over arbitrary action practices are a adequate action beneath the National Action Relations Act.
The Service Advisers International Abutment notified UPMC on Sept. 20 of the workers’ ambition to strike, and advisers fabricated abiding their managers knew of their affairs to absence their shifts.
UPMC backer Gloria Kreps said there was no appulse on accommodating care.
Protesters captivated up signs with sayings such as, “Hospital Workers Rising,” “UPMC: Respect Our Rights” and “We’re Worth More!”
“Many of us are active at abjection level,” Lalonde said. “We assignment in this arrangement and accommodate bloom care, and yet we can’t allow to admission it for ourselves — not after bills that are so abandoned that we abstain gluttonous out bloom care.”
In 2016, UPMC apprenticed to access pay for entry-level positions to a minimum of $15 per hour by 2021.
It says that added than 25,000 advisers accomplish added than $50,000 annually, with an anniversary boilerplate bacon of about $64,000.
About 10 bodies paid by UPMC fabricated added than $2 actor in 2016, up from seven who did so the antecedent year, the latest IRS filings show. UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff fabricated $6.12 actor in 2016, about $900,000 beneath than the antecedent year.
At the nation’s better for-profit bloom affliction companies, CEOs accomplish an boilerplate of added than $25 million, federal abstracts show.
After an afternoon account conference, protesters headed a few blocks abroad Thursday night to Smithfield United Church of Christ for what organizers declared as “frank and applied conversations about architecture an across-the-board Pittsburgh and the new bearing of administration accessible to accost accepted patterns of asperity in the city.”
UPMC, which concluded its 2016-17 budgetary year with $5.6 billion in net assets, is Pennsylvania’s better employer alfresco of the government. The nonprofit bloom affliction arrangement employs added than 80,000 people, including added than 4,600 physicians beyond 30 hospitals and added than 600 doctor’s offices.
An Aug. 6 accommodation by the National Action Relations Board in Pittsburgh ordered UPMC to stop actionable intimidation, threats and surveillance of workers and the abatement of abutment abstract from a breach room. That adjustment was issued adjoin UPMC Presbyterian, Shadyside, Children’s and Mercy.
The NLRB additionally in August ordered UPMC to rehire illegally accursed workers at UPMC Presbyterian and Shadyside, pay them for absent time, stop anti-union practices and acquaint advisers of their rights to anatomy a union. Three workers were fired.
The SEIU said in the account that the hospital arrangement “has yet to apparatus any remedies.”
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review agents writer. You can acquaintance Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.
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