Demanding attention from UPMC executives and blasting CEO Jeffrey Romoff’s recent $2.4 million pay raise, several hundred union supporters and workers rallied outside UPMC Montefiore hospital in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
Joined by Democratic elected officials, patients and faith-based leaders, protesters chanted in the name of worker rights and held up signs with sayings such as, “Raise the wage,” “Respect our rights” and “We work, we sweat, why are we in so much debt?”
Shortly before 1 p.m., they marched toward the hospital’s main entrance and administrative offices, in hopes of voicing their concerns during an annual public meeting of the board that oversees UPMC Shadyside Presbyterian hospital.
The rally — organized by labor groups such as the SEIU and Pittsburgh United and promoted by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — targeted not only worker issues but also called for holding UPMC officials accountable at a broader level for behaving like a nonprofit charitable organization. They also want, for instance, for UPMC to drop a controversial prepay rule and negotiate an agreement that will protect access to UPMC for Highmark-insured Medicare Advantage and cancer patients set to go out of network on June 30.
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