Faith communities march to UPMC to support workers.
As the city and region’s largest employer, UPMC has incomparable influence on setting wage and benefit standards for its own employees and for the city’s largest industry. Yet even as UPMC continues to grow and prosper, it pays its largest group of workers – the service workers who keep the hospitals running -- so little that they are in a constant state of financial insecurity. In fact, many are living in poverty and rely on food stamps and other public supports just to get by.
UPMC is helping to drive the vast income inequality now facing our country. With $1.3 billion in profits during the last three years (and more than $4 billion in reserves), UPMC paid 28 top executives and doctors more than $1 million each last year, for a total of $48.8 million. Meanwhile, by UPMC’s own admission (disclosed in the report), thousands of its employees are paid less than $12 an hour, a wage that does not support workers and their families, according to studies of the actual cost of living in the Pittsburgh area.
Because of UPMC’s size and influence on the local economy, raising UPMC workers out of poverty will have a much broader positive impact on the region’s economy. A base wage of $15 an hour for UPMC workers would result in $75 million more in the hands of UPMC service workers, which would significantly improve their lives and pull many of them out of poverty; tens of millions in new economic activity as a result of increased spending by these workers; hundreds of new jobs, and substantial new revenue for the City and the public schools.
People from every neighborhood across our city are coming together to call on UPMC to improve wages. PIIN, the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, is organizing a march and rally on Monday, March 3rd.
Marchers will meet at 10:30 a.m. inside St. Benedict the Moor Church, 91 Crawford St (across from Freedom Corner) and at 11 a.m. the group will march from Freedom Corner to UPMC (600 Grant St.). An interfaith lunch will be served, and rally and activities will take place all day at UPMC. For more information, contact PIIN: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-621-9230.