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shadesofgrey
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I work for a hospital in the aforementioned town. The hospital already is considered "inner city" and as such receives a large amount of charity care cases, specifically $188 million budgeted for the next year alone.

Normally, yearly "cost of living" raises are given to full-time employees, somewhere on the order of 3 percent of their salary. I received a letter yesterday saying that due to the economy being what it is, the hospital was doing away with the annual raises and instead would be giving $1000 to each full-time employee. Fine. No big deal, times are hard, the hospital saves money and I still get a bonus. I can live without the 3 percent. I still have benefits and no one's getting fired (pretty rare for hospitals in PA, incidentally).

Then I read THIS:

"It should be noted these one time payments reflect varying percentages of annual earnings, depending on your individual wages. It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." ;)

Sound familiar?

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"It should be noted these one time payments reflect varying percentages of annual earnings, depending on your individual wages. It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." ;)

Sound familiar?

WOW. It is almost like they are placing more value on the support staff (secretaries, janitors, nursing assistants) than the staff that is actually crucial to saving the lives of the patients. I can see why you are frustrated.

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I work for a hospital in the aforementioned town. The hospital already is considered "inner city" and as such receives a large amount of charity care cases, specifically $188 million budgeted for the next year alone.

Normally, yearly "cost of living" raises are given to full-time employees, somewhere on the order of 3 percent of their salary. I received a letter yesterday saying that due to the economy being what it is, the hospital was doing away with the annual raises and instead would be giving $1000 to each full-time employee. Fine. No big deal, times are hard, the hospital saves money and I still get a bonus. I can live without the 3 percent. I still have benefits and no one's getting fired (pretty rare for hospitals in PA, incidentally).

Then I read THIS:

"It should be noted these one time payments reflect varying percentages of annual earnings, depending on your individual wages. It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." ;)

Sound familiar?

I would be interested to know why. You should ask whoever made the decision why they value people based on what they pay them and not the other way around.

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I think JeffS made an excellent suggestion. You should talk to whoever decided to write that letter.

Well it was written by the CEO of the entire health system, so it may be a bit hard to get an audience, but it's a good idea nonetheless. I was wondering the exact same thing as JeffS when I read it. I'll tell you what, I'll give it a shot and follow up on here if I get any explanation.

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"It should be noted these one time payments reflect varying percentages of annual earnings, depending on your individual wages. It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." ;)

Sound familiar?

Vaguely. But as long as it is only a few dollars, who cares? You have to see their point of view too, you can't be all black and white, just because this is an issue that affects you directly.

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Vaguely. But as long as it is only a few dollars, who cares? You have to see their point of view too, you can't be all black and white, just because this is an issue that affects you directly.

Seems to me to be the principle of the thing, not the money. Aren't principles important?

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Seems to me to be the principle of the thing, not the money. Aren't principles important?

Holy crap I think Ellison and I actually just agreed on an issue :)

The CEO (or his office) doesn't have an e-mail address that they choose to dispense to their lowly employees, so it'll take a bit of detective work.

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Yeah I am fairly sure he was mocking you with sarcasm. There is no justification for what is happening to you but if you want to bend over and give them sanction by giving them the possibility of justification that is your choice.

Rewarding less effort or ability over the more accomplished and talented is an injustice that hurts all, even those who it intends to help.

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Yeah I am fairly sure he was mocking you with sarcasm. There is no justification for what is happening to you but if you want to bend over and give them sanction by giving them the possibility of justification that is your choice.

Rewarding less effort or ability over the more accomplished and talented is an injustice that hurts all, even those who it intends to help.

Did everyone miss the part where I said I was looking into it? Geez, I've seen serial killers given more chances.

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You hold contradictory views. Principled stands on issues are difficult when your display name is Shades of Gray. The concept of moral grayness gives more credence to unjustified stances than they deserve.

On top of that your stance is somewhat confusing. Of course the money by itself has no value, money does nto have intrinsic value. But it represents the principles involved in this case. In careers money is a sign of reward for something done well. They are giving a disproportionate amount to people who do nto deserve it. The money indicates the principles or lack thereof here.

It is good that your looking into this but after the first post you seemed to not be as concerned and that makes little sense to me atleast.

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You hold contradictory views. Principled stands on issues are difficult when your display name is Shades of Gray. The concept of moral grayness gives more credence to unjustified stances than they deserve.

On top of that your stance is somewhat confusing. Of course the money by itself has no value, money does nto have intrinsic value. But it represents the principles involved in this case. In careers money is a sign of reward for something done well. They are giving a disproportionate amount to people who do nto deserve it. The money indicates the principles or lack thereof here.

It is good that your looking into this but after the first post you seemed to not be as concerned and that makes little sense to me atleast.

If you think a display name affects whether or not you have principled stances on an issue, you have bigger problems that not understanding my post. It doesn't imply MORAL grayness in the least. I could be talking about a cloud for all you know, but you didn't bother to find out, did you?

I'm not sure what you think is confusing about the post, though. I completely agree with your second paragraph. I'm not sure how my sense of concern dropped off after the first post, but I maintain that I'm looking into it. Am I quite as outraged as I was when I opened the letter? No. Sustained anger doesn't help anyone. Rather, an angry period at the injustice of a company is good motivation to ACT on the inequities presented previously. If it's not fast enough for you, tough. You'll see the results as soon as I do.

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The CEO (or his office) doesn't have an e-mail address that they choose to dispense to their lowly employees, so it'll take a bit of detective work.

If you're able to ask for an explanation, I'd be very curious to hear the reasoning behind this compensation plan. Are they running the business to help out the less fortunate, or to turn a profit? Come to think of it, your hospital isn't a not for profit, is it?

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If you're able to ask for an explanation, I'd be very curious to hear the reasoning behind this compensation plan. Are they running the business to help out the less fortunate, or to turn a profit? Come to think of it, your hospital isn't a not for profit, is it?

It is a not-for-profit actually, though many NFP hospitals clear an impressive amount of profit (which is ostensibly re-invested into operations). Pretty much any hospital with an ER is running a business to help out the less fortunate, though this one recognizes the importance of the bottom line.

The reasoning for this decision as was stated in the letter is to save the hospital money. It is a lot cheaper to give everyone $1000 than to give everyone 3% of their salary. However, I can't figure out WHY they said "It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." I'm assuming it was to placate those employees who earn towards the lower end of the scale and for whom a 3% raise means a lot more economically than those towards the top of the scale.

However, it's no real excuse in my mind. As posted previously, the real question is why the health system values its employees based on what they're paid rather than the other way around. The strange thing is that a hiring freeze was instituted on all full-time employees except those considered "critical to patient care/safety", which happens to include me.

We shall see.

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It doesn't imply MORAL grayness in the least. I could be talking about a cloud for all you know, but you didn't bother to find out, did you?

Just out of curiosity, what does your user name imply? I'm guessing it implies something based on the last sentence.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm perplexed about the idea of handing out any bonuses if a business does not make a profit. That isn't to say your hospital did not make a profit - but isn't that the real purpose of a bonus? Furthermore - those who are most responsible for the success of a business should be the one's receiving the largest bonus. If your hospital is not for profit - doesn't that make the concept of bonuses absolutely moot?

Edited by synrose
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I'm perplexed about the idea of handing out any bonuses if a business does not make a profit. That isn't to say your hospital did not make a profit - but isn't that the real purpose of a bonus? Furthermore - those who are most responsible for the success of a business should be the one's receiving the largest bonus. If your hospital is not for profit - doesn't that make the concept of bonuses absolutely moot?

Not necessarily. An organization has to compensate its employees enough to keep them from seeking other jobs. A non-profit in a field that also features for-profit entities has to compete with the compensation plans of those for-profit organizations if it is to retain its best employees; this could easily lead to the use of bonus plans even by non-profits.

I could even see legitimate cases in which a business that is losing money overall might pay out bonuses to some of its employees, e.g. if the bulk of the losses came from one part of the business, while another part was profitable. In a case like that one might cut back or shut down the unprofitable division while rewarding employees in the profitable one. Taken to a sufficiently fine level of granularity this could even result in the high-performing individual employees in a company receiving bonuses while the group in which they work is not profitable.

Our culture is steeped in egalitarian assumptions; in business, this sometimes leads to the view that all the employees of a company are 'in it together' and if the business overall is not profitable then none of the employees could possibly deserve to be rewarded for their performance. This doesn't follow. Stellar performance is stellar performance and deserves its reward even if incompetent performance by others in the company caused even greater losses.

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