U P __ C

The next time any of you want to take me to task for my general dislike of UPMC’s corporate policies, please remember the other emails I get from UPMC employees complaining that they’ve not seen a cost of living raise in quite a while; please remember that UPMC, rumor has it, is going to ask that the students that receive Pittsburgh Promise money be called UPMC Scholars; please remember things like this:

The sign is costing the nonprofit UPMC $750,000, according to a document submitted last year to the planning commission.

“A lot of stars have to be in alignment for this lift to take place,” Mr. Kolano said.

Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars to put their name on a building that’s not even named after them.

“The helicopter company told us they chose the right-size helicopter for the installation,” said UPMC spokesman Paul Wood in an e-mail. “However, they are looking to use a more powerful helicopter to secure the rest of the letters in a more efficient (i.e., faster) manner.

“You need almost windless conditions to get it placed.”

That little “(i.e., faster)” he stuck in there … boy did that make me laugh and I don’t even know why.

Could be the hysteria setting in.

Anyway, bite me, King Kong.  May the wind never die.


  1. satisfiedemployee
    May 28, 2008 7:38 am

    upmc gives yearly raises based on job performance. if someone hasnt gotten an increase, maybe they arent doing a very good job. that’s not upmc’s fault. i’ve always gotten one. as does everyone else i know who does their job. i also get 5+ weeks vacation and am able to “sell” back up to a week a year if i don’t use it. that’s like a free week’s pay. i also have a pretty nice pension, which not alot of companies do anymore. oh, and i’ve been here less than 10 years i’m not even close to being at even a middle management level. i’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

    if upmc didnt exist, this region would be the one we saw after the steel mills closed… cheers to the company who is paying my mortgage!

  2. upmcismonopoly
    May 28, 2008 8:26 am

    not sure what that guy’s position is but my husband works for them with sports medicine group, gets an outstanding review every year and never gets more than 3% – which isn’t even cost of living anymore. Yay for the extra $1.00 a pay. The only time his salary jumps is when UPMC decides to bring it up to be respectable compared to others across the country, which is maybe once every 10 years. He may get vacation but they refuse to hire more in his position so he can barely take it (o/w no patients get seen). He can’t sell his extra vacation either. Like I said, the masses that work for UPMC get screwed while the “non-profit” reaps the profits. Give me a break.

    Don’t even get me started how they screwed over all the OB patients that went to Mercy OBs doctors once the Mercy doctors decided not to renew their contract and go to West Penn. They fired all the employees, some who had been working for Mercy for over 10 years. Refused to let the drs contact their patients. Nice patient care. I pity all the employees of Mercy.

  3. EFW_West
    May 28, 2008 8:32 am

    Mercy was quickly going down the toilet. IF not for UPMC, there would be no Mercy employees so why pity them?

  4. Angie :-)
    May 28, 2008 8:39 am

    I hate what they are doing to my building. All 3 sides! “UPMC also was not able to install eight additional letters, four on each of the two other sides of U.S. Steel Tower”

    Vandals. Why do they need all 3 sides!? I remember when UPMC used to be a group of doctors trying to be better than the corp health insurance….

  5. satisfiedemployee
    May 28, 2008 8:48 am

    i just dont understand… if someone doesnt like where they work, then why dont they look elsewhere? if they can’t, then maybe they should be happy that upmc affords them that opportunity.

    like pittgirl and giant eagle. quit complaining and do something about it. or just quit complaining.

  6. Angie :-)
    May 28, 2008 9:35 am

    For the record. I am not a UPMC employee. I work for a company who has 15 floors in USX,

  7. In Sewickley
    May 28, 2008 9:42 am

    UPMC sucks. Simply put.

    And please don’t ever compare UPMC to the steel industry.

  8. Rorge
    May 28, 2008 9:44 am

    My husband works at UPMC Shadyside, his benefits are awesome. When UPMC took over Shadyside Hospital they gave him a retirement program which he never had before, and they still match his contributions to his 401K. He accrues 8 hours of PTO every two weeks and although his raises are not massive neither are mine nor anyone else I know that doesn’t work at UPMC. They also pay the larger portion of his health care which includes vision and dental. He works outpatient so it’s a nice cushy 9 to 5 job. And he STILL complains about them!

  9. Zsa
    May 28, 2008 9:45 am

    I agree with Angie and I’m just waiting for them to lobby for it to be called “The UPMC Building.” I personally like calling it “The Big Brown Thing.” UPMC isn’t happy enough destroying any vestige of Oakland’s college-ness (and driving all the kids over to the South Side), they have to smear their feces all over Downtown as well.

    PittGirl, I know you hate graffiti, but if Mook wants to haul his ass up to the top of the Steel Building and tag those damn letters, I would be all for it.

  10. Anonymous
    May 28, 2008 10:04 am

    I know someone who was effectively forced out of UPMC, was seemingly targeted by their superiors. But that kind of thing happens everywhere in big companies. What’s annoying about UPMC (besides that they could treat their non-doctor employees better) is that they refuse to help the city as much as they could. Even the Pittsburgh Promise is contingent on millions of dollars of donations from ther sources for nineteen years. I suspect UPMC knows there won’t be enough other donars, but they can innocently say they did all they could.

  11. satisfiedemployee
    May 28, 2008 11:15 am

    oh well… i always say, the grass isnt always greener. i dont have enough fingers to count how many people have left and come back in my 8 years here. they always come back. and, ironically, don’t usually complain quite so much…

    in this economy, i’m just very happy to be employed and still living comfortably. (oh, and that’s because upmc offered to let me work from home part time to save on gas…)

  12. Miserable_UPMC_RN
    May 28, 2008 11:53 am

    Obviously you aren’t involved in patient care. If you were, then I don’t you would be singing the same tune. My personal favorite UPMC memory involves taking care of a patient that has multiple wounds and there was only one type of gauze that could semi-manage the drainage. However, UPMC decided that it cost too much and we weren’t allowed to use it anymore. Instead she got stuck with saturated dressings because we couldn’t keep up with changing them.
    I also personally love how you can tell the department of health is coming, the hospital is actually clean.
    I have worked as a nurse there for 6 years and I cannot wait until I am finished with graduate school so that I can get a job elsewhere. Because the nurse practitioner wage is a slap in the face.
    They won’t hire additional night time housekeepers so the nurses are stuck emptying trash cans in the patients rooms night. When you have time it’s not too bad but if you have a busy night then the trash is over-flowing onto the floor.
    Or how about trying to use our tuition reimbursement benefit… You get $3500 (which hardly covers one class at Pitt because we have very little options where we can use it) but to get the money you have to jump through so money hoops that it is hardly worth.
    And whomever said that the yearly raises make up for not getting a cost of living raise can bite me. One time in my 8+ years of working for the health system did I get a raise great than 3% and it was 3.5%. Our raises are based on performance and i get a nearly perfect evaluation every year but still only get 3%.
    Guess what?? Parking at the hospital goes up a dollar per day just about every other year. There goes you “cost of living” raise. My friends that aren’t in healthcare laugh when I tell them about my raises.

  13. Bram R
    May 28, 2008 12:51 pm

    I just pray “more powerful helicopter” doesn’t mean missiles.

    “i just dont understand… if someone doesnt like where they work, then why dont they look elsewhere? if they can’t, then maybe they should be happy that upmc affords them that opportunity.”

    Wow … long time no see, Mr. Frick!

  14. unsatisfied
    May 28, 2008 1:10 pm

    is it not ironic that UPMC — the largest employer in our region — is placing its acronym on the sides of the tallest building in pittsburgh that is named for the company that USED to be, I believe, its largest employer?

    sign o’ the times, I do believe…..

  15. spoon
    May 28, 2008 1:54 pm

    unsatisfied, since when was Club Erotica located in that building?

  16. Zsa
    May 28, 2008 2:05 pm

    ha ha, spoon, I’m slow today. I didn’t get that you were joking.

  17. scottie
    May 28, 2008 4:22 pm

    Cost of Living..LOL.. funny term…not relevent in compensation these days, though. That would be like us getting a 10% raise to cover the increase in gas prices..like that will happen.

    Oh and:
    – 3% increase in salary is about the norm across the board

    – benefits are a benefit and not an entitlement (except in the union mentality, in which case everything is entitled to the employee)

    – pensions are almost obsolete…so if you have one: Fabulous! Now shut up about it so that rest of us don’t get jealous

    – UPMC is evil because they, like Highmark, pretend to be non-profit (like that’s happening)

    – Putting names on buildings is a ridiculous waste of money for a “non-profit” that is supposed to be taking care of the health of the city. How’s .75 million going to help that?

  18. Nellie
    May 28, 2008 5:29 pm

    Satisified employee,
    I’m guessing you work in the department where you get an extra bonus for every claim that you deny. And if you stay under a certain quota, extra time off.
    Concerning the manangement of health ins. companies, I don’t know how these people sleep at night.

  19. Nellie
    May 28, 2008 11:43 pm

    It just really bugs me that UPMC is also in the insurance business.

  20. PittCheMBA
    May 29, 2008 1:23 am

    We are all waiting for PittGirl to translate the 3 letters U P C into something funny.

  21. from the inside
    July 9, 2008 9:55 pm

    UPMC has a very strange pattern of denying employees from the inside raises (other than the 3% COLA) causing many of them to leave the company. Strangely enough many of them return and are paid TONS more. To promote yourself at UPMC you have to leave (could even be for a month) and then return to your department. They say turnover costs are something like 15k per lost employee when it’s all said and done. Yet they always cite some bogus HR policy for restrictive salary increases. I’m in the process of leaving (because I can ;) ) and may return in the future to collect my raise. I just don’t see how any company can justify a COLA raise running less than inflation (I just got a perfect review) for someone who has an additional year of experience under their belt. It’s like you are getting paid less this year to be better at your job. There is no talent development program, and many promotions involve office politics. Believe me I’m not complaining, their business model seems to be running well. I would change a few things, but there are good aspects of the company too. I happen to be in an highly talented and employee friendly department. Unfortunately, their non healthcare wages aren’t competitive enough to hire and retain top talent. When the largest employer in town with it’s own big bad HR department has posts that sit on monster.com for months, it says something. Now that they are in USX their top performers are just going to walk across the street to another company and make 10-20k more doing the same thing. I mean, if you have to be downtown anyways… It’s going to catch up with them as they branch out into other areas aside from pure healthcare. I am actually excited for my exit interview because I feel like I have some really positive points to bring up. And I also have some thanking to do. If they had more competitive salaries and focused more on internal talent development, in my opinion they would be a top tier employer.