Pittsburgh City Council calls for $15 minimum wage at hospitals: 4 things to know

Pittsburgh is joining other U.S. cities in encouraging local hospitals to institute a $15 per hour minimum wage for workers, according to a Pittsburgh Business Times report.

Here are four things to know about the request.

1. Pittsburgh City Council's wage review committee members called for the $15 minimum wage in a report released Tuesday. The report found Pittsburgh's hospital service workers, including jobs such as janitorial and food services, earn $12.94 per hour on average, or less than $27,000 per year, and that some hospital workers who testified before the wage review committee earned as little as $9.67 per hour.

2. After seeing these findings, committee members called for the $15 minimum wage. Committee members said hospital service workers' current earnings are "insufficient to allow hospital workers to live in even modest comfort in Pittsburgh," and that "the impact of low wages in our largest industry create downward pressure on service wages throughout Pittsburgh's economy, driving down the standard of living for a large percentage of our population," according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

3. Pittsburgh isn't the only city to push for a $15 minimum wage for hospital service workers, as similar movements have taken place in Chicago and Baltimore, among other places.

4. John Galley, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Pittsburgh-based UPMC, called the $15-per-hour dialogue "a red herring."

"Any group or governmental entity supporting this, is in-truth, simply supporting the [Service Employees International Union]'s national organizing campaign," he said, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. "This is the only reason why UPMC is associated with this particular issue, not because our wages are below market or the healthcare industry averages."

 

More articles on workforce and labor management:

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