TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rights groups agree to pay Pittsburgh half of UPMC protest costs

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 11:15 p.m.
 

Representatives of labor and human rights groups that picketed outside UPMC's Downtown headquarters agreed to pay half of what it cost the city to provide them with police protection.

They considered challenging the $15,000 bill in court, saying they should not have to pay for exercising free speech rights, but backed off because they didn't want to engage the city in a legal battle, said Barney Oursler, executive director of Pittsburgh United.

“Their concern was about this becoming the focus,” he said. “They wanted the issues to stay on workers and workers' rights.”

Hundreds of pickets protested the wages UPMC pays its service workers, snarling morning traffic on Grant Street on March 3 and 4. They also lobbied for the workers' right to organize.

City code requires groups that stage large events such as parades and protests to pay half the costs when they total more than $750. The city will waive those costs if a group can prove it is indigent.

Police wages and overtime totaled about $30,000, according to Mayor Bill Peduto, who has met with UPMC about the workers' concerns. Peduto described the city's portion of the bill as the “cost of having a democratic society.”

“It's a fair system,” he said. “They agreed to pay it. Hopefully, the check's in the mail.”

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Brentwood police chief to get nearly $200,000 as part of settlement agreement with borough
  2. U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
  3. Attorneys say Leon Ford putting off needed surgery because of prospect of second trial
  4. Fire at a Robert Morris University dormitory hall will displace 10 students
  5. Coaches lead discussions to influence athletes’ attitudes toward women, avoiding violence
  6. Newsmaker: Christopher W. Robinson
  7. State leaders give input on budget woes at Pittsburgh meeting
  8. Allegheny County will stop asking about employees’ criminal history, Fitzgerald says
  9. Allegheny County police investigate out-of-state company that hired worker charged in fatal accident
  10. Newsmaker: Dr. Lewis Kuller
  11. Allegheny County officials to continue shuttle service in airport corridor, Mon Valley
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.