In a plea for help, UPMC is calling on the general public to rally on March 3rd against the machinations of its greedy employees. For years, UPMC employees have been tormenting its employer – last November they had the audacity to exist as workers, a fact that had frustrated the company as they tried to acquire a non-profit status. In the end, UPMC’s lawyers pulled them through, claiming that: “The City of Pittsburgh has not, and cannot, identify a single person who is employed by or on the payroll of UPMC, the parent holding company.” The ruling was a great gain for the embattled $10 billion non-profit organization, which not only works tirelessly to avoid paying property taxes but also has apparently been needlessly paying its 62,000 “volunteers”.
In essence, the March 3rd rally is a “pick-me-up” for UPMC, who would appreciate an outcry of support after the controversy concerning the way it has treated its employees employed volunteers. As a case in point, the company was criticized even when it opened a food bank to aid its own struggling workers. Many detractors of the move (including more than a few ungrateful employees) whined that a food bank was “demeaning”, and that UPMC had “totally missed the mark”. UPMC supporters rightfully pointed out that food banks met employees’ needs just as effectively as wages – even UPMC’s executives would just as happily take their wages in green beans as they would in greenbacks. And as a gesture of good faith showing this was true, UPMC’s executives did no such thing.
More notoriously and most recently, UPMC has encountered trouble from its meddling nurses. Though the two parties had long been in contract negotiations, its nurses had been making ridiculous suggestions like “upping the nurse to patient ratio” or “having shorter shifts” – all supposedly so that nurses would be “better staffed and better able to treat their patients”. UPMC’s lawyers were forced to walk out of several negotiations when it was clear that the nurses were refusing to be productive and instead producing gag contracts that would in no way profit UPMC. Of course, nurses never know when to quit joking; weeks later, they began clowning around again with “protest” in the form of a day-long strike. UPMC kept its cool through the ordeal and chose the moral high ground by hiring temporary nurses to take their place. And though the price of 1.6 million for temps was much steeper than giving in to the nurses’ concessions, the medical institution’s point had been proven: “Fuck you, nurses.”
All in all, UPMC has had a rough couple of years. Whether from ungrateful minimum wagers or dastardly nurses, UPMC has been beset on all sides by employees who simply don’t know how to stop existing. Won’t you come down and show some support for your friendly University of Pittsburgh Medical Center? Join UPMC as it marches in force against its workers on March 3rd from 9 AM onwards, downtown at the USX Tower, 600 Grant St.