Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 10, 2010
Hospital employees to receive 3% cost of living increase
Tuesday March 2, 2010, was the first meeting of the new scheduling (first Tuesday of each month) implemented by the Kane County Hospital Resources Special Service District Board. Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff brought the meeting to order.
The hospital employees did not receive a cost of living increase in 2009. Finance Committee member Chad Szymanski remarked, in 2009, the hospital budget was overwhelmed by the cost of legal fees incurred by the proposed class action lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City District Court re: the hospital’s old retirement pension plan. Therefore, the 2009 budget could not allocate funds towards an employee cost of living increase in addition to those legal costs. The case is still pending, but it was the consensus of the board, that in 2010, the employees should receive a 3% increase. Administrator Sherrie Pandya said, “We feel that to not give an increase this year would be detrimental to the morale and retention of the employees.” The increase will become effective April 1, 2010. The employees will also receive a 2% increase on their anniversary date.,
In the 2010 budget, the hospital has allowed more monies for legal fees, as well as the employee’s cost of living increase.
The board voted against a match by the hospital for the contributions made by the employee to the 457b retirement for the year 2010, thereby creating a savings for the hospital. Member Gene Drake stated the board wants to do the best it can by everyone this effects, but this is a large amount of money for the hospital to allow in the budget at this time. Pandya said this issue could be addressed at any time.
Pandya said there was a 39% increase in health insurance premiums that also created a strain on the budget. It was the recommendation of the finance committee and the administration to stay with the United Health Care program for the employees, and to adjust the health savings account and other items in the budget to cover the increase in premiums. Pandya explained the deductibles and various benefits and costs to the employees and the hospital under the different plans.
Hospital Auxiliary President Emma Norton was contacted and agreed to fund the amount of $3,240 to purchase 32 replacement chairs needed for the clinic. The auxiliary also offered to fund the $12,000 needed as a match for the Community Impact Board (CIB) grant towards the construction of the helipad and the bulk oxygen tank. Pandya wanted to do some needed repairs to the Long Term Care area and Norton stated there are monies available for that project. (The auxiliary’s contributions to the hospital since 1990 are approaching the million-dollar mark).
Dr. Ott, representing the medical staff, requested the re-application of privileges of two visiting doctors that provide services to the hospital.
Hospital Attorney Edward Robbins presented an Electronic Meeting Resolution. As per Section 52-4-207, Utah Code authorizes electronic meetings of public bodies with the State of Utah.
In the event a board member could not physically attend a scheduled meeting they could still participate in the meeting, by means of a teleconferencing module, or a phone line conference call. They would have the same rights to vote and motion as if personally present. The electronic method could determine a quorum if needed. A member would be allowed a maximum of three telephonic participations per calendar year. Pandya stated this resolution would become part of the hospital by-laws.
Pandya and Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells will be attending the annual meeting of the Utah Hospital Association on April 15 and 16. The association will be discussing future health care for 2010 to 2015. U.S. Senator Bob Bennett will be the guest speaker.