CEO O’Brien Sees 37 percent Salary Increase While Putting 50 Concessions on Table
It has been reported today that CEO John O’Brien of the UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will make $1,270,000 this year, a 38 percent increase in just one year. The increase included $372,000 in deferred compensation and other benefits. This news comes at the same time that O’Brien, through his union negotiators, continues to demand an unprecedented 50 concessions from the registered nurses at the University campus of UMass Memorial Medical Center; concessions that would dismantle or degrade nearly every provision, right or benefit in the nurses’ hard fought union contract.
Bargaining unit vice chair Judy Locke was quick to respond. “We find it obscene that the hospital claims that to remain competitive they need to drastically cut our benefits, while at the same time they are doling out over one and quarter million a year to the CEO. We must question how it is this hospital, which has shown a profit of $100 million over the last 18 months seems to have more than enough money for the top managers but can’t find the money for those that deliver quality care each and every day.”
The proposed concession include dramatic cuts in health insurance benefits (some nurses would see a 300 percent increase in their health care contribution), elimination of their defined benefit pension plan (a plan guaranteed to nurses under the law that allowed the privatization of UMMC), reduction of holiday and sick time benefits, and dramatic cuts to the nurses’ annual pay scale. For individual nurses, these concessions would result in a loss of more than $8,000 in compensation per year.
The nurses have been negotiating a new contract since last November. Talks are now being conducted with a federal mediator, with the next session scheduled for Sept 18th.