On July 30, leaders of the service, clerical, and technical workers union at Allegheny General Hospital held a leadership retreat to chart the future of the union.
Nowhere in Pittsburgh could you find a more diverse group of people working together to build a better city and create better jobs for healthcare workers across Pennsylvania.
AGH workers discussed how proud they are of their accomplishments and what their organizing victory means to their families, patients and community. They talked about what they as a union can do to improve patient care, make AGH a good place to work, and ensure the success of the Allegheny Health Network.
These workers have a deep commitment to collaborating with hospital leadership to achieve success for the health system in a way that benefits patients, workers and the bottom line. Newly created labor-management committees will work with the hospital administration to resolve problems around staffing, scheduling, improving patient satisfaction scores, and other work-related issues.
But they didn’t confine themselves to addressing solely AGH issues. AGH workers discussed how they can address racism in our communities and their role in rebuilding the middle class. They talked about making politics work for working people and despite political differences, they agreed that we need to raise the minimum wage, to force all hospitals to be transparent about staffing, and protect the right to a closed union shop in Pennsylvania.
AGH workers were joined at their retreat by Jared McCray, a UPMC Mercy worker and union leader, who came to congratulate them on their work and accomplishments. McCray delivered an incredibly inspirational message of shared struggle and unity.
AGH workers were so moved by McCray’s passion for their mission that they decided to create an honorary officer position for him when setting up the officer structure. The suggestion was raised by Burton Brown, a Central Sterile Processing Tech, and immediately approved by everyone in the room. In an unprecedented show of solidarity, a UPMC worker will now be a permanent part of the AGH union leadership team.
For decades, many Pittsburgh hospital workers have felt isolated by their struggles, but now are finding hope in their unity.
Congratulations to all who are helping to build something so very special in Pennsylvania.
And now the real work begins!