TribLIVE

| News


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

Rights groups agree to pay Pittsburgh half of UPMC protest costs

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Court attire can have impact, Allegheny, Westmoreland public defenders say
  2. Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
  3. Man fatally shot in East Liberty; police investigating 2nd shooting
  4. Closures planned for Parkway West
  5. Homewood woman accused of card game stabbing
  6. Newsmaker: Katherine A. Davoli
  7. Higher school taxes prevail in Western Pennsylvania, Trib finds
  8. Pitt researchers using grant to find cures for viruses from mosquitoes
  9. Fireworks displays costly, but W. Pa. communities feel obligated
  10. State trooper released after Ohio Township crash
  11. Human-waste fertilizer aids farmers, worries some Ohio residents