Friday, February 5, 2010


I am soooo bummed. All of us part-time people at the hospital I work at, were sent a letter stating that our benefits were changing. If we had health insurance through the hospital, the premiums would be doubling. If we had MLB (medical leave bank) it would be disappearing. We would now be earning PTO days at a rate so slow it would hardly even matter.
The hospital has always had a policy that anyone working less than 40hrs/pp, did not receive benefits. We all knew this and were ok with it. I have been working at 56 hrs/pp for years. It has been great. I get a decent salary (well, it used to be decent, now I'm not so sure), and full benefits accrued per hours worked.
I have thought about adding one more day, so I would be at 64 hrs/pp. There never seemed to be an extra 8 hours that I could have. They were doing some downsizing by not replacing people that retired or left for other reasons. We were getting pretty thin, and complaining that we were very busy and could sure use some help. Then the recession hit, people lost their jobs, they had no insurance, so didn't go to the office for routine checks. But, they still got sick or injured and came to the hospital instead. Still having no insurance, they couldn't pay their bill. The hospital was getting worried, and did their own lay offs. Cutting out raises, stopping 401 contributions, no more Christmas Tea, closing the coffee shop on evenings and weekends, putting a freeze on hiring and absolutely NO overtime, unless absolutely warranted.
Things were ok for awhile, then more lay offs. Now...the latest in cost saving schemes...cut out the loyal employee's benefits. What a wonderful thing to do to the people who are supposed to be giving compassionate, remarkable care. There are 300+ part-time employees. I have a hard time believing that this is going to make a very big dent in the big picture. What's the next thing to happen? Some of the full-time employees are getting worried.
The hospital has decided to reinstate cost of living raises, and 401 contributions. Maybe they should freeze those another year and give us part-timers a chance to add hours and keep our benefits. April 1, 2010 is the date that we become unworthy employees.
I am fit to be tied. I have put in nearly 34 years of my life at a place where I am not valued. What reason do I have to stay? Except for the fact that we are still in a recession, and hospitals aren't hiring, I am pretty much f****d. My faith in this institution is gone! Maybe it's time to seriously think about putting into place one of the many ideas I've had over the years. It would be awfully scary to leave, but I just may have to.

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