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February 16, 1995

Contract dispute prompts picketing at WPIC

District 1199P, which represents 150 nonprofessional staff at Western Psych, has been working without a contract since Feb. 3 and its negotiations with UPMC are stalled.

John Boros, the union's chief negotiator, said: "UPMC and its subcontractors have asked for unprecedented concessions, including wage freezes, elimination of the union's health and welfare benefits, pension and other provisions. At the same time, they have been unreceptive to our demands for health and safety guarantees and protections that will ensure that our members do not have to work short staffed." UPMC officials said they are negotiating solely with the 35 members of 1199P who work at Western Psych only. These employees include psychiatric assistants, escorts, unit clerks, van drivers, a stores clerk, lab aide, research technician, center supply workers, and a mental retardation child care worker.

At the same time, 1199P is negotiating with ServiceMaster, a subcontractor at Western Psych, in 1199P's role as representative of ServiceMaster housekeeping employees. Also, 1199P is negotiating with another subcontractor, ARA, which is the representative of ARA's dietary employees at Western Psych. "The UPMC is not a party to either the ServiceMaster or ARA negotiations," a medical center statement said.

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