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Protesters call on UPMC to pay its 'fair share'

James Knox | Tribune-Review
Protesters assemble in the portico of the City-County Building January 17, 2013, in Downtown Pittsburgh to give representatives of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald a 'Code of Conduct' in light of UPMC's nonprofit status.

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Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 1:48 p.m.

More than 100 community members and activists called on UPMC to adopt a “new code of conduct” during a protest Thursday morning in front of the City-County Building, Downtown.

Chanting slogans for UPMC to “pay your fair share,” they said the health-care giant should contribute more money to the city for the services it receives, offer its employees better pay and give residents affordable health care.

They also presented Pittsburgh and Allegheny County officials with copies of a “Code of Conduct for a Strong, Healthy Pittsburgh,” which outlines their demands.

Spokeswoman Susan Manko said UPMC last year provided $250 million in free charity care and pays real estate taxes on 49 percent of its properties. The remainder of its properties are tax-exempt hospital campuses, she said.

The county pledged to review the status of all tax-exempt properties. The city has promised to begin looking at whether its largest nonprofits should have their tax-exempt status reviewed.

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