Stanford Health Care to cut workers’ wages by 20% | News – Get our quote now

Stanford Health Care is reducing its employees' wages by 20% starting April 27, leaving many workers stunned by the announcement. Weekly photo of Veronica Weber's file.
Stanford healthcare employees, including doctors, nurses, and technicians who take care of COVID-19 patients, will receive up to 20% reduced pay starting Monday, April 27, for 10 weeks, according to an information sheet to which the organization sent workers on April 21.
The medical center briefly stated that it was cutting back due to COVID-19's economic impacts on the organization rather than laying off employees. The "temporary workforce adjustment" program was created as part of the "hospital cost reduction measure and initiatives," said hospital administrators. Salary reductions will apply to all employees of Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford and, in East Bay, Stanford-ValleyCare. Asked if the cuts included in doctors' salaries, hospital spokeswoman Lisa Kim reiterated that the cuts are "cross-cutting".
Employees can choose to lose wages but continue to work full time or work fewer hours by taking free time in full day increments or working fewer hours but they take up to 96 hours of flexible time as free time. If they are not eligible, they can take unpaid free time. The hospital will offer tips on how to apply for unemployment insurance.
Employees were blown away by the announcement. Pay cuts will be an economic burden for many employees, said Linda Cornell, a 40-year-old employee and unit secretary who works at a health resort as a kind of "air traffic controller" for the unit. . There is also concern that it may affect patient care, he added.
"It's just insane. The governor was saying that yesterday we had the highest mortality rate (among COVID-19 patients), and they want to cut staff here. I've never seen anything like that," he said.
CEO David Entwistle said in previous articles that visits to the Stanford hospital emergency room have decreased by 40%, hospital spokeswoman Lia Kim said.
In a statement, Stanford said in part: "Stanford Health Care is sailing on the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19 and, as part of this effort, is implementing a temporary reduction in hours to COVID-19; within the organization. The current pandemic has affected many organizations globally and we are no exception. This is a difficult but necessary decision to support the long-term health of the organization so that we can continue to provide critical services to the community. "
Hospitals like Stanford have closed elective surgeries, a large source of revenue, under a state mandate to prepare for a wave of COVID-19 patients, but on Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom eased some of these restrictions, allowing for procedures such as replacement of valves, removal of tumors and colonoscopies.
Cornell said she hopes more elective surgeries can come back online and relieve economic tension in hospitals. In the meantime, many employees will face economic difficulties. Many have already taken or run out of free time to take care of their children because schools and day care centers have closed. Even though workers can use up to 120 hours of additional paid free time, they should pay back that money or take time off without pay, he said.
"Some families will never be able to accumulate enough money to repay it," he said, with many employees earning $ 50,000 or less.
Cornell said he's on vacation, which started before he knew the cuts. Employees who are running out of their vacation time now so they can get paid will lose their opportunities to travel with their families in the future, he added.
The hospital has yet to make things work, he said. He fears that patients will receive lower quality care with fewer staff on duty because they cannot achieve many things.
"It opens up the possibility that there will be more mistakes and mistakes because people rush to get things done," he said.
In its statement, Stanford Health Care refuted the idea that the cuts would have an impact on care.
"This measure will have no impact on any of our operations. We continue to provide the safest and highest quality care for our patients and remain dedicated to pioneering research and effective clinical therapies to address this changing situation. We are immensely proud of the our community at Stanford Health Care, and we thank our employees for their tireless efforts and ongoing support during these difficult times, "said the hospital administration.
Steve Trossman, an employee spokesman for International Union-United Healthcare Workers, who represents many Stanford employees, said that hospital administrators notified the union of the plan less than a week before the plan. announcement, but they refused to negotiate.
Addressing Stanford's employee and job relations managers in an open letter, 16 employees – including unit secretaries, nursing assistants, technicians, and others – said they were appalled by the hospital's actions.
"Stanford Health Care is now turning its back on frontline healthcare workers and refuses to acknowledge our contribution when it comes to theft. Your refusal to work collaboratively and to negotiate is extremely disrespectful to all of us who come to work. every day, often without adequate protection, putting our lives at risk for patient care, "they wrote.
"You presented your delivery plan as a" shared sacrifice "as if this extreme measure had the same impact on the CEO who earns over $ 3 million / year and a housekeeper or a nursing assistant who is struggling to pay the rent and feeding our Silicon Valley family with $ 60,000 or $ 70,000 a year. This demonstrates a strong lack of empathy and understanding for the reality of our lives. "
The letter asks the hospital to reconsider. Employees propose its cost-cutting approach to the hospital level by exempting less paid workers and reducing the burden on employees who earn less than $ 100,000 a year.
Among other requests, they also ask the hospital to make sure that no workers lose or pay more for health services. They also ask the hospital to explain the reasoning behind the furloughs, including how much money hospitals are actually losing because of COVID-19 and how much Stanford Health Care will receive in federal stimulus funds included in the CARES Act and its recent supplement. .
Find full coverage of the Midpeninsula's response to Palo Alto Online's new coronavirus, Mountain View Voice and Almanac here.

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