SoCal Hospital - no raise this year ... pls help!

  1. I'm a nurse in SoCal in the hospital. My hospital just announced this week that there will be no merit raises this year. My hospital only offers annual merit raises, no raises for cost of living or inflation. The hospital administrators told us they are in the red and trying to cut costs and salaries are the biggest expense. We were told that all hospitals are suffering financially. I'm frustrated b/c the cost of gas is increasing, housing cost a fortune in SoCal and I'm not going to be compensated for any of this. Can you tell me if this is normal not to get an annual raise? Any advice on how to handle this? I'm extremely frustrated. Some RNs have talked about calling in the union to help protect us. Would that solve the situation or cause more problems?
  2. Visit qt314nf profile page

    About qt314nf

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 7
    RN - MedSurg
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience

    17 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I assume that finding another job is not one of your options.

    Hospitals are not obligated to offer raises to their employees every year. I wholly agree that it is good practice to give raises, because it reduces employee attrition rates and minimizes turnover. However, the hospital is under no obligation to give you a raise, and perhaps you should not have the belief that you are entitled to a raise. A sense of entitlement can be quite dangerous.

    The person who expects nothing is blessed, for (s)he'll never be disappointed.
  4. by   qt314nf
    I understand that there's no obligation by any job to provide an annual raise. I'm just asking what other people's hospitals do.

    I'm frustrated b/c each year I seem to be making less money b/c they increase the cost of parking, cut our healthcare benefits and have to pay more out of pocket. Presently gas prices are out of control and I will never be able to afford a house in Cali. Currently I work 2 jobs just to pay the bills and yes I'm checking in to other jobs. I'm simply trying to survive and I'm wondering what other hospitals are like. We've had a rough past few years at my hospital b/c we got a new CEO who has been working us harder and cutting staff to save money. Are other hospitals suffering as much as mine?
  5. by   TazziRN
    Uh....if your facility is a union facility, it should be in your contract. If the contract states that you will receive a raise each year, then the hospital has to honor it or they will have broken the contract.
  6. by   Sheri257
    Unions do help. Even if a hospital isn't union, if another hospital goes union in the area then it pretty much forces the other hospitals to raise their pay to compete. It may not be as much as what the union hospitals pay but, at least, the pay is raised somewhat at non-union hospitals because of it.

    I'm curious as to what hospital in SoCal wouldn't raise pay because just about all of the hospitals in my area of SoCal have raised their pay. Obviously they don't care or expect to keep nurses with no pay raises.

    As far as hospitals losing money, that's also weird. Even with unions and pay raises a lot of hospitals in my area are expanding so ... I'm assuming they wouldn't be expanding if they were losing money.

    Maybe it's time to find another job, especially since there's so many other places to work these days.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 23, '07
  7. by   jjjoy
    Just FYI - many SoCal hospitals have had to build new patient wings in order to meet new earthquake safety codes. So they may be expanding for this reason and not out of choice.
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from jjjoy
    Just FYI - many SoCal hospitals have had to build new patient wings in order to meet new earthquake safety codes. So they may be expanding for this reason and not out of choice.
    Actually, most of the expansions I'm familiar with are whole new hospitals in separate locations .... not renovations so to speak so, I don't think it has much to do with earthquake codes at their existing facilities.

    They don't have enough room with the hospitals they have so they're building new ones.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 23, '07
  9. by   caliotter3
    I've never received an annual pay raise since working in health care. And to be quite frank, one of my merit pay raises was really for a reason other than merit (incentive). Employers aren't obligated to offer pay raises or other benefits. As difficult as it may be, try to be thankful that you remain employed at all. Many employers cut costs by laying off employees and/or reducing pay.
  10. by   qt314nf
    Quote from caliotter3
    As difficult as it may be, try to be thankful that you remain employed at all. Many employers cut costs by laying off employees and/or reducing pay.
    Thankful to have a job? Isn't there a nursing shortage?

    I know my hospital is always using registry, and it seems to me that a financial incentive is a great way to keep its present employees. I like my hospital and don't really want to get another job, but on principal, I don't want to stay at a facility that doesn't appreciate its employees.

    I'm just curious if this is what I'll find at the majority of healthcare facilities. May be this is what is causing the nursing shortage. People change professions. That's where I'm at now.
  11. by   Myxel67
    Do you think they might be striking back because of the new law regarding nurse/pt ratios?
  12. by   Sheri257
    I don't think it's retaliation for ratios, per se. I have a theory that it has more to do with the changing demographics of the state and, also, the fact that ratios have attracted many nurses from out of state.

    The best nursing opportunities in California are not so much in the coastal areas like LA and San Fran anymore ... Why? For one thing, just about every nurse who comes here (and there's about 40,000 of them who have moved here in the last two years because of ratios) wants to live in coastal areas. So when you have a large supply of RN's coming in the coastal hospitals don't have to raise their pay as much.

    That's why, for example, new grads out in the Inland Empire are making just as much as new grads in LA or Orange County ... even though the cost of living is higher in those coastal areas. Even notoriously cost cutting cheap hospitals like HCA have raised their pay in the Inland Empire.

    And why have even the cheap cost cutting hospitals raised their pay? Because the population growth has exploded in the inland areas so they can raise their pay to attract more nurses and still make a lot of money. That's also why inland hospitals are expanding and building whole new facilities.

    The population growth in coastal areas will be less than 20 percent in the next 20 years, while the population growth in inland areas will be more than triple that amount at nearly 70 percent.

    So when you have a combination of RN's flooding the labor market in coastal areas but the population (and, consequently, hospital growth) migrating away from those coastal areas at the same time ... the wages aren't going to increase as much.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 24, '07
  13. by   jjjoy
    Quote from Sheri257
    Actually, most of the expansions I'm familiar with are whole new hospitals in separate locations .... not renovations so to speak so, I don't think it has much to do with earthquake codes at their existing facilities.

    They don't have enough room with the hospitals they have so they're building new ones.

    :typing
    It depends on the facility. UCLA had to build a whole new medical center in order to be up to code. Glendale Adventist Medical Center is just finishing a new wing for the same reason. Since they had to rebuild or extensively retrofit anyway, I'm sure they're adding in any other bells and whistles that may help bring business their way. In the Inland Empire, I'm sure it's a whole other story since it's experiencing a population boom.
  14. by   markas214
    Just bend over and take it. I'm sure that the CEO will be making an extra million thanks to you and your co-workers willingness to accept a lower standard of living. (sarcasm) You obviously are not part of a union. Time to organize or leave.
    Last edit by markas214 on May 26, '07

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