Deep down, Lisa Sayre, a nurse entrenched in the yearslong effort to pressure UPMC to recognize a health care workers union, wasn’t expecting much from the public hearing in April.

So Ms. Sayre — one of about two dozen people who spoke at a Pittsburgh Planning Commission meeting that day about a new hospital the health care giant planned in Uptown — used her allotted three minutes to argue that UPMC’s project should come with wage increases. Then she left the meeting.

“I got a text later in the night saying, ‘You’re not gonna believe what happened.’”

What had happened was the six-member commission ordered — as a condition of approving the new UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital — a community benefits agreement “or similar mechanism toward community partnership.”

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