CEO pay freeze ‘dis­mays’ hos­pi­tal

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

The On­tario gov­ern­ment’s freeze of pub­lic ser­vice man­agers’ salaries has “dis­mayed” Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials, who are seek­ing the prov­ince’s help to of­fer “rea­son­able” pay to the HGMH’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

When Pre­mier Doug Ford took of­fice in June, he im­posed a freeze on se­nior pub­lic ser­vants’ salaries and or­dered a re­view of ex­ec­u­tive and man­age­ment com­pen­sa­tion.

The move cre­ated a prob­lem for in­sti­tu­tions such as the Alexan­dria hos­pi­tal, HGMH board chair Corey Kalsi writes in a let­ter to Peter Beth­len­falvy, Pres­i­dent of the Trea­sury Board. The mis­sive reads: “I write this let­ter on be­half of the Board of Di­rec­tors of Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal (HGMH) in re­sponse to the no­tice from your of­fice that the cur­rent ap­proach to broader pub­lic sec­tor ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion is be­ing sus­pended.

“We re­ceived this news with dis­may, and the gen­eral feel­ings among our Board mem­bers are those of frus­tra­tion and hope­less­ness. There are two pri­mary rea­sons for th­ese feel­ings.

“First, while larger hos­pi­tals may have teams of staff or bud­gets to hire con­sul­tants to work on their Ex­ec­u­tive Com­pen­sa­tion Pro­grams, our hos­pi­tal does not have such re­sources. In­stead, the out­stand­ingly ded­i­cated mem­bers of our board have worked re­lent­lessly in pre­par­ing our sub­mis­sion ever since the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­pen­sa­tion Frame­work Reg­u­la­tion came into ef­fect on Septem­ber 6, 2016.

“I could not even be­gin to quan­tify the re­sources we have freely con­trib­uted to this en­deav­our. We have com­plied with all of the terms and con­di­tions pre­scribed by the reg­u­la­tion, made all of the nec­es­sary sub­mis­sions, changes, and re­sub­mis­sions that the Min­istry of Health and Long-Term Care re­quested, and opened the sub­mis­sion to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. For their work to be swept aside is dis­heart­en­ing to say the least.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, as you are likely aware, the salaries of ex­ec­u­tives have been frozen for the last eight years while the cost of liv­ing has con­tin­ued to in­crease.

“In our par­tic­u­lar case, our CEO's salary has been frozen at $124,752, one of the low­est hos­pi­tal CEO salaries in the en­tire prov­ince. To make mat­ters worse, our CEO re­tired in June, and we were heav­ily re­ly­ing on re­ceiv­ing ap­proval of our Ex­ec­u­tive Com­pen­sa­tion Pro­gram in or­der to make a rea­son­able of­fer to at­tract a new CEO. The sus­pen­sion of the pro­gram just as it was about to be fi­nal­ized has cre­ated an un­ex­pected ob­sta­cle that we can­not over­come with­out your as­sis­tance.

“As vol­un­teers sit­ting on hos­pi­tal boards, we strive to bet­ter serve our com­mu­nity's health needs, and we need and de­serve the support of our gov­ern­ment so that we can achieve our com­mon goals. We sin­cerely hope that your reg­u­la­tory re­view of the pro­gram will be done swiftly and ef­fi­ciently so that we can pro­ceed with of­fer­ing a rea­son­able salary to our new CEO.”

New CEO hired in July

In July, af­ter an ex­ten­sive search process, the hos­pi­tal ap­pointed a new CEO. Michael Co­hen joined HGMH af­ter 16 years at the Queensway Car­leton Hos­pi­tal in Ot­tawa, where he had been Vice Pres­i­dent of Clin­i­cal Ser­vices and In­for­ma­tion Man­age­ment since 2009.

All On­tario broader pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ers are re­quired to con­duct a 30-day pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on their pro­posed Ex­ec­u­tive Com­pen­sa­tion Pro­gram. The HGMH re­ported that in 2016, the Chief of Staff was paid $250,000, the CEO $123,532, the Chief Nurs­ing Of­fi­cer $112,520 and the Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer $110,637. In 2017, when she was HGMH CEO, Linda Mor­row was paid $123,336. Mean­while, Winch­ester District Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal CEO Cholly Boland re­ceived $228,708.

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