A one-day strike in Pittsburgh; a walkout threat in Harrisburg

  • Ed Mahon, PA Post

From The Context, PA Post’s weekday email newsletter:

There has been a good bit of coverage about long sentences for people convicted of providing drugs in overdose deaths. Still, this headline caught my eye: “Montco woman, 24, is sentenced to 21 years in prison for friend’s heroin overdose death” –Ed Mahon, PA Post reporter

Last year saw an increase in work stoppages

John Harris High School is seen on April 24, 2019.

Sean Simmers / PennLive

John Harris High School is seen on April 24, 2019.

  • Some UPMC hospital workers held a one-day strike in Pittsburgh Tuesday. A dietary technician at UPMC Presbyterian said she’s worked at the hospital for 10 years and only recently started making $15 an hour, WESA reports. The strike coincided with an annual public meeting of the health service.

  • In central Pennsylvania, teachers in the Harrisburg School District planned to hold a one-day strike on Friday — until they called it off, saying a bargaining issue had been resolved. Before that, the president of the Harrisburg Education Association said the district is in crisis and that “the short-term disruption was outweighed by the need for long-term change and improvements to our kids’ education, well-being and future.”

  • Last year, the number of workers across the U.S. involved in work stoppages was the highest of any year since 1986, according to a February article from Time. Those 20 major work stoppages involved 485,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the number of union members has been on the decline. Last year, 10.5 percent of wage and salary workers belonged to unions. In 1983, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.

Best of the rest

At the kitchen table last month, Summer Mills goes over documents accumulated in the past months while dealing with dental issues.

Bastiaan Slabbers / WHYY

At the kitchen table last month, Summer Mills goes over documents accumulated in the past months while dealing with dental issues.

  • WHYY’s Dana Bate tells the story of Summer Mills, who described having excruciating tooth pain. Mills, a social worker with four children, struggled to receive dental care through the state’s Medicaid program, which cut dental benefits in 2011.

  • The suicide rate in Pennsylvania has increased by 34 percent since 1999, according to Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration. Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis covered a Capitol news conference on Wednesday in which the administration and some state lawmakersannounced the creation of a task force to develop a long-term strategy to reduce suicides.

  • A jury has ruled against Bucks County in a federal case, and now the the county could be forced to pay $67 million as part of the class-action lawsuit. At issue was an inmate lookup tool that contained mugshots and certain arrest record information, according to Philly.com’s Julie Shaw.


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