Good News at Goodall!
Today Goodall Hospital employees got unexpected good news when hospital administration surprised them with a one-time cash payment to thank them for their sacrifices and dedication to the hospital during the economic downturn.
“Because of your dedication, today Goodall is healthy and vibrant,” President/CEO Darlene Stromstad wrote in a letter to employees. “We just couldn’t be more proud of you!”
“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for the great care you provide to our patients and communities,” she said at employee forums held at the hospital’s three campuses today. The hospital suspended raises in early 2009 so some employees have gone almost three years without an increase. Additionally, between March, 2009 and June, 2010, employees experienced a decrease in salary, ranging from 4% to 10%.
Stromstad said that in addition to the cash payments, which were calculated at 2% to 3% of the employees’ annual salary and depended on the size of their original pay cut, the hospital is establishing a 2% across the board salary increase effective Sunday, March 27, 2011.
Equally important, is that for the third consecutive year the hospital is passing on no additional costs to employees for health and dental insurance in the coming fiscal year which starts June 1, 2011.
“The cash payment is a ‘thank you’, the 2% increase ensures we remain a competitive employer, and the flat dental and insurance rates really honors our employees for making thoughtful decisions about their own health and their utilization of health care,” she said.
These payments were made possible by the $5.3 million the hospital received last Friday in MaineCare settlement funds. The hospital is still owed more than $9 million for services rendered from 2009-2011, which includes a projected decrease of $900,000 during the remainder of the state’s fiscal year.
“With the support of our Board of Trustees, we felt very strongly that our employees should share in this. We’re certainly not flush with cash, but this payment does allow us to compensate our employees and to put some money away for the future,” Stromstad said.
During the past several days, Goodall Hospital reached out to locally owned businesses in the Sanford, Waterboro and Kennebunk communities to ask their consideration in providing discounts for employees during the next week or two. “We were overwhelmed by the support and generosity.” Stromstad said. “Not only were they willing to offer discounts, they far exceed what we imagined, lasting from a weekend, to a month and even a year!” Businesses participating as of this morning include: Ace Hardware (Kennebunk), Baby Mama, Backstreet Grill, Bonanza Steakhouse, Bridals by Sandy, Central Furniture, Country Clipper, Get Fired Up, Live Well Café, Magnolia’s Hair Salon, Mail It Unlimited, Oak Street Bistro, Quest Fitness, Sanford Mainers Baseball and Sebago Brewing Company. And more are expected in the coming days.
“This is the Goodall Hospital stimulus plan.” Stromstad said. “We want our communities to benefit from this as well.”
The hospital has not re-instated a week’s vacation, pension or merit increases based on performance at anniversary dates for fiscal year 2011. Some contracted employees, primarily physicians and allied health providers, received the cash payment, but are not eligible for the 2% increase. Everyone benefits from the flat health and dental insurance rates.
“This is a happy place today. Everyone was very surprised,” Stromstad said.