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Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 8:34 AM


As you know in my new job I get to work with the administrators on such fun things as budgets. We finished ours last week - June 29 to be exact - 2 days before the new fiscal year.
We had to cut 13.6 million dollars out of our hospital budget mainly due to cuts from Medicare and Medicaid but also increased interest payments on our bonds and the need to keep our pension fully funded. Our hospital CEO decided no one would lose their jobs (our hospital system employs about 2500 people). So for weeks and weeks we tinkered with the budget - ultimately all employees will be giving up 3 days vacation per year and contributing 20% instead of 13% to our health insurance. But everyone keeps their jobs - nurses, doctors, cafeteria workers, housekeepers - everybody. It was not easy letting everyone know about what we had to give up (administrators actually gave up 5 days vacation and a few other perks besides). Considering what is happening with unemployment it made me feel really good about who I work for.

Achad  (Level: 201.9 - Posts: 661)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 8:37 AM

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5236)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 8:38 AM

I keep waiting for my boss to have "the talk" with me. It is nice to see employers that care about their workers and not just the bottom line.

Papajensai  (Level: 190.5 - Posts: 1025)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:04 AM

Glad to hear some good news in this area. And good work on your part, Gary. As a physician who's gone over to the Dark Side (as you once called it) as an administrator, you've obviously retained your common sense and humanity in the face of the seemingly endless problems faced by hospitals these days.

Sherilynn1962  (Level: 116.2 - Posts: 372)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:17 AM

Sounds like you have an employer that truly cares - good to hear!

Where I live every state employee must now take one furlough day each month (don't work that day, and don't get paid for it). That translates to about $200 per month for me. Additionally, the $193 I currently pay for health insurance for myself and my family will increase to $293 per month, so I am losing $300 per month. Many will lose more; many will lose less. It will, however, have a domino effect in our state. Businesses will suffer as a result of this, and our state is already hurting (when Chili's goes out of business you know it's bad.) Additionally, my employees who are single parents and already living paycheck to paycheck because they aren't getting child support may not be able to pay their bills now. They're scared. I'm scared for them. It's really sad.

I'm so very grateful that I have a job - that I am a 2-income family (for the time being), so I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. It just seems that there has to be a better solution.

I'm also very grateful I don't live in California right now..........I could be getting an IOU instead of a paycheck.

Make it a great day, everybody!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4286)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:19 AM

Thanks for sharing the great story, Gary.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:38 AM

Heartening story, Slick. Nice to see folks looking out for each other.

Suzer22  (Level: 165.6 - Posts: 1982)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 10:32 AM

A lot of school districts in Arizona let a lot of teachers go and are slashing arts programs. I am really proud to say that my district made a commitment to keep all the teachers and is not cutting the arts! There is talk about losing all addendum pay (coaches, band teacher, even the drama coach) and losing some benefits; also some aide positions and possibly other support staff.

I love the discussions that put many sports programs onto the parents - they won't be funded without parent support!

But our state budget for education is not yet settled so we don't know all yet. However, I am feeling very thankful to be certain of a job this year.

Gypsylady  (Level: 141.0 - Posts: 6037)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 10:42 AM

I know you must be proud, Gary, to work for a hospital where your people took the time, effort and giving up of things which affected them in order to preserve the quality of life for the employees and the hospital. Others may benefit by trying the same approach, as accepting things as they were, would only have lead to disaster, causing the employment rating to soar even higher.

Thanks for sharing your positive and heart warming story.


Virtus  (Level: 159.5 - Posts: 2448)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 3:53 PM

It should be listed as one of the top hospitals to work for. WOW, there is hope for us yet. Wish that other companies would take a lesson from this play book. People really do matter. Thanks for sharing and we will keep praying for the good of the USA. Anne

1mks  (Level: 208.5 - Posts: 5867)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 4:05 PM

Thanks for a positive post. I think it gave us all hope.

Koota  (Level: 180.6 - Posts: 2098)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 7:40 PM

That's wonderful, Slicko! It does bite to have to take a cut that none of us can really afford, but at least everyone was able to keep their jobs.

Regarding Suzer's post concerning sports being kept alive by the parents ... I hope there are sports scholarships available to promising athletes who can't afford to pay up to play. When I was in high school, I hated it so much that I would have quit school altogether except that Basketball kept me going. I could not have been able to afford it if I had to pay anything. My coach bought my shoes so that mine would match the shoes of the rest of the team. I stayed in school my whole senior year rather than graduating at mid term only because basketball season ended in February ... well into the second semester.

Oh yeah. I graduated in the top 10 percent of my class, so I'm not all brawn and no brain. I just hated school.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 7:51 PM

Wonder if we work for the same corp, Slicko. We had our vacation time decreased and will receive no raises this year. Our OB department closed (it's a small town and was a duplication of services). We managed to absorb the nurses into other areas, so no one was laid off. We all feel grateful for that.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 8:25 PM

Our OB department is going strong - we are actually trying to add some beds to keep up with the demand

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 8:33 PM

Probably so is the other hospital in our town.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:02 PM

The other hospital is building a whole new women's hospital - unfortunately they are way behind schedule so it won't open for a couple more years.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:04 PM

In Indiana?

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:11 PM

No Pennsylvania

Ladyvol  (Level: 203.2 - Posts: 5441)
Wed, 8th Jul '09 9:35 PM

Maybe you should come to Rhea County and over haul the hospital here...They have let a lot of their LPN's go and hired EMT's to take their place...It's not right nor fair in my book...I have 15 years experience in ER and they wouldn't hire me back because I do not have an EMT license. Go figure...

Madamec8  (Level: 79.5 - Posts: 890)
Thu, 9th Jul '09 8:24 AM

Katy, are you talking about scholarships for high school students? How much money are you talking about; could the student earn some of it by working? I understand the burden, I have a friend who was state wrestling champion and captain of the football team and was from a very poor family. His part-time job gave him just enough to buy his own clothes and other personal needs. His teammates all pitched in when needed. (He never asked).

But there are also other programs which cost the students, orchestra as one example. Students have to provide their own instruments, dress clothes for performances, and it is a hardship for some. Not totally comparable with sports, just wanted to mention there are barriers in other programs.

Our school district is top heavy with former coaches, and those programs are never cut. The arts take the fall, they are considered less prestigious. Sad, isn't it?

Congratulations on your good scholastic performance!

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