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UPMC workers walk off the job on Tuesday

PITTSBURGH — A one-day strike over pay increases and the right to form a union turned into a standoff at a UPMC board meeting on Tuesday.

Dozens of UPMC employees and their supporters marched down Terrace Street in Oakland.

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"They have not been holding up to the promises that they promised to deliver and treat us with the dignity and respect they drill into us during our training sessions," said Anna Nelson, a UPMC employee.

A spokesperson for UPMC told Channel 11 they are committed to being an employer that invests in its workforce, noting that the hospital was the first health care organization to commit to $15 an hour for minimum wage. The spokesperson went on to say that those who work at urban hospitals will make that minimum wage in two years.


Some marchers who ended up at the UPMC Board Meeting were frustrated that only people preregistered for the meeting were allowed inside. After nearly an hour, more people were allowed in but Channel 11's cameras were not.

The board chairman adjourned the meeting about 20 minutes after protesters interrupted and demanded that their voices be heard.

In a statement, UPMC said the meeting was not its annual meeting of the full board.

"This is a meeting only of the UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside Hospital Board and deals only with issues unique to the hospital, such as their Community Health Needs Assessment report, its own finances within the context of UPMC's overall finances, and various medical staff policy and credentialing issues."