Mayor Bill Peduto said in a press conference Tuesday that he is beginning talks with UPMC and SEIU, in attempt to resolve the ongoing labor dispute at the non-profit healthcare organization.
Peduto said he will begin by meeting with both sides individually to see where they are at, before bringing all parties to the table.
“Right now, this is the most pressing issue that I have, because it affects not only our economy, but our peace,” Peduto said. “It hits on all the different things we talk about when we build a next Pittsburgh.”
To build that next Pittsburgh, the mayor said that the labor violation allegations are not the only issue that needs to be resolved. He said he will talk to UPMC about making sure all residents have access to UPMC hospitals, and in what ways the healthcare giant can contribute monetarily to Pittsburgh.
“If we can work together as a community to solve this issue, it sets us up in so many other ways to see this region take off,” Peduto said. “It has to happen. We’ve got to be able to work together to get past this. These aren’t unsolvable problems.”
Peduto said he has already met with SEIU twice, and that he will meet with UPMC President Jeffrey Romoff on Wednesday. At this point, he is not laying out a timetable for negotiations.
“I have no interest in having another ten years go by, but at the same time I don’t want to limit it to weeks or months if it will take until the end of the year or longer to get this done,” Peduto said.