Administrator's Salaries - page 3

The Registered Nurses at St Catherines of Siena Catholic Health Systems (CHS) on Long Island, NY have been on strike for 20 days because their employer refuses to address their serious concerns about... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    <Should we be angry at them? How dare they achieve what we desire? >

    I dont think this is why we are angry. I dont begrudge anyone earning a share of the profit when a corporation is doing well. In most businesses, all of the employees also earn a piece of that profit. But if the corporation is said to not be doing well, how can they justify siphoning off millions for their own personal benefit?

    What is so galling about these hospital administrators salaries is that they are earning them AT THE SAME TIME THAT THEY CRY POVERTY for their "financially failing" institutions and demand that the government pay to bail them out. Why should we, the tax payer, have to fork over hard earned dollars in taxes to save a facility that, thru its own mismanagement, has million dollar salaries for its administrators and no money to provide care to its pts?

    They are earning these salaries while going so far as to force nurses out on strike to avoid increasing their pay, or investing in the facility to improve their workplace, claiming "there is no money to spend"..... as they put a million dollars into their own bank accounts. The talking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-faces is what people are angry about.

    It would be a different story if the facility was doing great financially, investments were made in the institution to improve the working environment, and employees were also given decent (not even exorbitant) compensation as well, but the administrators are making these salaries, as slave-drivers, off the backs of employees for whom they will not improve compensation or working conditions because the institution "does not have" or "cant spend the money".

    They are saying that there is no money to show employees that they are valued and no money to make the workplace better and no money from the government to help save them, but they are funneling millions into their own pockets as they speak.

    Its the contradiction that people are angry about.

    <<When I see those who have success, I applaud that success. They achieved it, we did not. >>

    I agree with you & thats what I tried to say in the first part of this post. But success should not be applauded when it is achieved thru the detriment of others. The situation in our workplaces is very different because these administrators have "achieved success" at our expense. By compressing our salaries, by freezing hiring and working us excessively as needed, by having 1 nurse do the job that it used to take 3 nurses to do safely, by not providing adequate supplies, equipment, or enough ancillary personnel.

    Yes, they achieved success but they have achieved it by driving us into the ground. They saved money for the institution, and for that, they have richly been rewarded, but they did it by harming us. That is nothing to applaud.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 19, '01
  2. by   Teshiee
    Who sets these high salaries. They aren't even running the country and making mad dollars.
  3. by   -jt
    The administrator sets his salary HIMSELF and the Board of Directors either agrees to it or BARGAINS with him for less cash but makes it up with the equivalent in better perks, pension contributions, and other nice stuff.

    The administrator NEGOTIATES his conditions of employment and signs a binding CONTRACT with the facility's Board of Directors after he is satisfied that they are meeting his conditions favorably and have given him an offer he can agree to.

    (any lightbulbs turning on here?)

    Thanks for the link, Grouchy. I passed it on.
  4. by   RNed
    jt You are right. The executive bargains with the Board regarding compensation and job responsibilities and goals. If his compensation is not agreed upon, he moves on and does not accept the job. This is done in private and is between an identified member of the board and if within reason and acceptable, he/she, the board member, submits the package to the board for vote.

    I am not saying anything anti or pro union here. Do not want the pro-union anti-union discussion. But this is not the process nurses use in accepting or negotiationing a job offer. We frequently have a mediator in the middle called a union. As much as it offers job protection and other benefits, it also stymies the individual nurse in negotiations.

    Their are few highly paid individuals that concurrenlty belong to a union, outside of the union organization itself.

    This poses the question, "is there a methodolgy or model within the framework of an organized union to allow individual negotiations for individual job satisfaction without conflicts occurring within or between the membership."
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi. I don't see this issue of exorbitant salaries as being a union issue. I see it as a matter of greed and exploitation.

    IMO, for the last 10 or longer, most direct care and teaching nurses salaries have not kept up with inflation. In fact, that is true for many average workers in the labor force. Yet, we see the cost of living steadily and in some cases meteorically rising along with the salaries of many health/medical care and hospital executives. It's no wonder that we find doctors and nurses seeking and getting executive level positions. I would imagine that is the only time they feel they're getting what they're worth or what they want.

    Like with basketball and football, I wonder if there should not be general salary caps. If the hospital or health care place makes a profit, then everyone should share in the spoils.
  6. by   -jt
    The striking nurses turned over to the local newspapers the hospital tax records (including those administrator salaries) which they got from the govt thru the Freedom of Information Act.

    The newspaper did an investigation of the finances & ran the article on the front page.

    big surprise: The hospital admitted to running a 1 billion dollar corporation.

    But says it "cant afford" to spend any money on nurses because then all their other employees and nurses at their other facilities in the system would demand the same.

  7. by   grouchy
    Bravo to these courageous nurses! Does the paper have a website where we can read the story? RNed-I'm still getting around to replying. I've been working a hellish series of 12-14 hour shifts that has drained me of the vigor to make all but the easiest of posts. However, I think jt and some of the other nurses did a great job of raising some of the very points I wanted to raise. jt - I did find a free link to the article(I'm not sure if it was slightly abbreviated). I was embarassed to find that it was not as outwardly critical of the executives proffered explanations for these outrageous salaries as I thought I remembered. (They keep assuring the reporter that competition and regional cost of living differentials are the reasons). However, I believe that if you read in between the lines it is clear that the reporter is subtly disparaging their arguments while trying to maintain the journalistic objectivity that is de rigeur at the Times. Plus, you will find that the highest paid CEO in the nation is making about 1.5 million/year. Here's the link:
  8. by   grouchy
    Me again! I tried clicking on the link I posted and got the front page of the website. I found that if you put 'steinhauer' in their search box, you'll get a list of links, including'money and medicine, big pay at not so big hospitals'. It does say summary beside it, which may account for the fact that I'm getting a feeling that it doesn't seem as inflammatory as when i first read it in April.
  9. by   LilgirlRN
    Seems to me that the "law" of he who toils the least makes the most is evident here. Administrators should care enough to either become an undercover patient themselves or hire someone to do it for them, then they could see the effect of the nursing shortage for themselves. The hospital I work in is also a Cathloic institution, when we had a Sister running the hospital things seemed to run along much more smoothly than they do now that a "civilian" is running the show. We knew what our mission was then, providing quality health care to people while showing them care through Jesus Christ, now it seems our mission is to make as much money as humanly possible. We use Press-Gainey, they do our patient satisfaction surveys, I only see what applies to me, the ER scores are always good, they are even better for me when you break it into shifts, the night shift always scores higher than days. Why is that? Because the patient to nurse ratio is lower, I can take care of my patients better, give them more indiviual attention and it takes much less time to be seen and evaluated by a doctor at night. The nurses with the most experience also work at night in my department, they do it for the same reason I do, I feel I can do a better job under the conditions at night than I can during the day and I get paid more to do it. We get a HUGE pay increase in January, a BIG, WHOPPING, 3 per cent...isn't that nice of them? Doesn't even keep up with inflation. I often ask myself, if I weren't a nurse, what would I be? The answer is I don't know. I don't know what occupation I could have that would give me the satisfaction and the pay for the amount of education that I have. I could go back to school I suppose and try to get into med school and be the oldest med student ever, but I would be into my 50's by the time I got through and did a residency and all that stuff. I guess I could go to work on the assembly line at the new Honda plant being built here and make more money and have higher benefits than I do now, but I wouldn't be helping anyone and I wouldn't have to use my brain like I do now. No offence to UAW here, but taking care of the human body requires more thinking than taking care of an auto body. That's half the fun in my job, figuring out what's wrong with someone and then knowing what to do about it. What would you do if you weren't a nurse?
  10. by   wildtime88
    Has anyone heard of the Golden Rule.

    "Those who have the gold, make the rules."

    How about these rules?

    "A penny saved is one that goes in my pocket." Pennies can add up pretty quickly.

    "If you are going to hit and run, or plan on retiring, then get as much as possible while you can?"

    "Once you make it, they can not take it back."
  11. by   Mijourney
    Hi. Yes, Wildtime. sigh! Life is a game, not a journey as I believe. Survival of the fittest means whoever can get everything including the kitchen sink is the winner. It would appear that we are the weak link. But wait! You can't make exorbitant salaries unless there is someone there holding the bottom up. Meaning without patients and the nurses providing 24 hour or even intermittent patient care, how could an executive survive? What would be the point?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that there were around 150 teachers up in the NE region of the U.S. that showed what could happen, although on a minor scale, if the bottom fell out.
  12. by   cmggriff
    I'm not angry that some MBA who can draw a pie chart is making a million a year. Or that that same wizard thinks all nurses are money sinks and can be easily replaced with less expensive unlicensed people. I'm not angry that the management will spend
    millions on new equipment and real estate but not hire an extra RN for a busy floor.
    I'm angry because these people try to portray me a greedy for wanting more money to risk my ability to earn a living every day.
    I'm angry because the CEO of a hospital states to a local reporter that nurses need to think less of themselves and more of the community. And I get really pissed when a manager tell ICU nurses that they will have to take and care for 3 ventilator patients and staffing is safe under those circumstances.
    If a CEO makes some mistake, he/she might lose a job. If management refuses to hire adequate help and a patient dies as a result the CEO does not lose his license. He isn't punished by a board of his peers. He probably gets a bonus for saving money.
    That is what makes me angry. Gary
  13. by   RNed
    Exactly the point. I am not angry at the salaries these CEO's make, I am angry at the behaviors and the message they send to society and nurses.

    Their job is management. I expect them to manage for the benefit of the patient and not the benefit of the enity they represent.

    They use tax payor funds and tax breaks to built more walls, yet, they do not inform the public what is needed is more staff. I have not read an article where the CEO states we can built more, but the effort is wasted if we can not staff more. They continue to support programs which allow tax advantages for buildings, however, do not support needed increases in compensation for those that work inside those buildings. This is what angers me.

    In my orginal post, I said I do not believe a reduction of executive salaries would pass to nurses. This is not the productive fight. We need to place in the communities' mind the question of performance and remind them and tell them that the CEO and associated Vice-presidents are not performing to the communities standard.

    CEO's do not fear comments regarding salary because their is no issue related to salary in their respective contract. Shout. all we want - this is a dead issue. They can not be terminated or reprimanded for making more than nurses. However,

    In each executives contract there is a clause related to perfomance. It is this that is the crucial element to compensation of pay and renewal of contract. This is the contract language that can put fear in an executive's mind and is what the Board can and does act upon.

    Change the performance standard of the community and the Hosptial Board and you will change the performance of the CEO.

    Just food for thought !!