UPMC sues and challenges union pension fund contributions

UPMC McKeesport (Pennsylvania), part of Pittsburgh-based UPMC has filed a lawsuit against the union’s allegations that the hospital owes about $300,000 in pension dues, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

The hospital filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 in federal court against Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania and its pension fund.

In the lawsuit, UPMC McKeesport argues that the hospital owes no money because pension fund contributions begin after a nurse’s probation ends, the Post-Gazette reported. SEIU says dues — for hours worked by nurses before their probation ends — start on the employee’s first day of work.

In addition, under contracts between the union and the hospital, newly hired employees are not officially represented by the union until the end of their probation, according to the Post-Gazette.

The SEIU is seeking $288,217.67 based on a discrepancy allegedly discovered during a 2019 union audit, plus $64.57 in daily interest.

UPMC said Becker’s he does not comment further on the trial. SEIU representatives were not immediately available for comment. Post-Gazette February 3. Becker’s has also contacted the union and will add a comment if received.

Dolores W. Simon