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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Activists call on mayor, county executive to “hold UPMC accountable”

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 2:17 PM

More than 100 protesters -- including UPMC employees as well as members of One Pittsburgh, local unions, healthcare and transportation advocates -- called on the mayor and county executive to "hold UPMC accountable to its public charity status."

The Rev. John Welch of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network presented a "Code of Conduct for a strong, healthy Pittsburgh" to Paul McKrell, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Government Affairs Manager, at the City County Building before going across the street to the County Courthouse, where he presented a second copy to Jennifer Liptak, chief of staff for County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

UPMC has been in the spotlight for much of the past year thanks to a move to challenge the healthcare giant’s non-profit status, efforts by some employees to unionize and charges filed by the National Labor Relations Board based on alleged union-busting violations.

Welch said the protest's goal is to make sure that UPMC is acting in the community's best interest, instead of its own.

"We want UPMC to reflect the shared values of our community," Welch told the crowd. "UPMC seems to be schizophrenic. They don't know if they're a corporation or a non-profit. But what I know is that they're acting like a corporation, [impersonating] a non-profit but what they really are is a community raider, raping our community, raiding it of its resources."

Upon receiving the "code of conduct," McKrell told the crowd: "The mayor is listening, city hall is listening, and thanks to you the entire city of Pittsburgh is listening."

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