If you do not know the story behind Orlando Health workers being forced to take drastic pay cuts, read this post (Orlando Health, Balancing Bad Financing On The Backs Of Workers) first.
Response from Orlando Health President and CEO Sherrie Sitarik
We know a number of team members affected by the announced premium pay reductions have posted a petition requesting that we not implement the proposed reductions. Some have even proposed that nurses stage a walkout to protest these cuts. On the public posting section of the online petition one individual appropriately expressed concern that a walkout could potentially hurt patients, but another posted the comment that if a walkout harms patients it is a “necessary evil.”
We seriously doubt this last comment was made by an Orlando Health team member. This section of the online feature is not limited to Orlando Health team members but is open to any member of the public who wishes to express an opinion. Every member of the Orlando Health team is committed to putting our patients first and we hope and trust that all team members recognize there are better ways to communicate even if they feel strongly about an issue.
We appreciate that this will require a difficult adjustment for those who will be affected by these cuts, but we must keep our eye on the big picture. Our collective responsibility is to maintain the continuing viability of Orlando Health in the interests of all team members and the community we serve. Change will be difficult but change must occur. The reduction primarily affects those team members who consistently work the night shift. Those subject to the most significant reduction currently receive shift differentials which are at or above the 90th percentile of the southeast market, which is above what other hospitals pay, on average, for night shift differentials. The highest shift differentials have been paid on the basis of a grandfathering arrangement which was instituted in 2007. Please remember this change does not impact base pay.
We cannot perpetuate “over the market” pay premiums without regard to the economic realities we are facing. To do so would be to jeopardize the hospital’s ongoing viability and everyone’s job security. By bringing pay premiums in line with the market, Orlando Health will reduce costs by an estimated $18 million annually. Making these adjustments now will save many jobs.
As I mentioned in my recent video, we are beginning the difficult process of implementing our Value Creation initiatives now. This process could take a year, to a year and a half to complete. While we may consider a brief delay in implementing the announced premium pay reductions, we cannot begin the essential and necessary Value Creation process by abandoning one of our first initiatives at the outset. This initiative was developed based upon a thorough economic analysis and meaningful deliberation among a number of stakeholders including nursing team members and we reached a consensus that this would significantly reduce costs and minimize job losses. Again, this one measure will reduce costs by an estimated $18 million a year and making this change now will save jobs.
As I promised in my recent comments, we will begin the process of meeting and engaging with managers and team members to identify and describe the Value Creation recommendations that may apply to them. Managers, physicians and team members will have the chance to:
• ask questions, provide input and share ideas;
• discuss the steps needed to implement process changes; and
• discuss the overall time table for the implementation.
This series of meetings will likely take place over a number of weeks.
Even after these meetings are concluded we are committed to scheduling follow-up sessions periodically as the Value Creation process unfolds. Successful implementation of work process improvements will be dependent upon the ongoing collaboration and cooperation of everyone involved.
I do have empathy for those team members most affected by organizational change. It is not easy and it is not a reflection on you, the quality of your work or your value as a team member. This is by far the greatest challenge Orlando Health has faced in my 37-year career here as a caregiver and administrator. It would be my desire not to make changes that affect team members, both staff and executive level management, but that would be to ignore the new economic realities of healthcare.
As an organization we will remain committed to meeting the healthcare needs of our patients, families and the communities we serve. However, to continue fulfilling our healthcare mission we must adjust to new healthcare delivery and reimbursement models. The actions we take today and in the next year and a half are proactive steps to reduce expenses, increase efficiencies, and achieve quality outcomes without compromising patient care. In addition, they will help ensure our viability for the long term.
After reading this I have a few questions of my own. Sherrie Sitarik, how much of your pay do you plan to cut? Does the President and CEO have to take a pay cut to help reduce costs? What about the rest of the 19 Executive Vice Presidents?
If you Sherrie are cutting the pay of the workers by upwards of 10% then it would only be reasonable to ask you to take a 10% pay cut as well.
This response does not answer anything. To me it is a giant middle finger to all of the dedicated workers in the Orlando Health system who are going to be forced into a pay reduction.
If you have not already signed onto to Sarah Collin’s petition please do so now. Help the working people take a stand against these drastic cuts!