Enloe administrators’ math is fuzzy

What does ‘maximum average’ mean to highest-paid execs?

An Enloe employee for more than 13 years, medical-chart analyst Jim North is a member of the SEIU-UHW Service Unit Bargaining Team.

Enloe Medical Center’s so-called “market survey” of wages, which the administration has touted to employees as fair, looks altogether different when it comes to executives.

Vice President of Human Resources Carol Linscheid says the market survey is “based on the average maximum of the wage scale of the six hospitals in our area"—St. Elizabeth in Red Bluff; Mercy Medical Center and Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding; Fremont-Rideout in Marysville; Oroville, and Feather River in Paradise.

We in the service unit bargaining with the administration try to fathom “average maximum.” This cannot possibly be any kind of average. We know that four of the six hospitals in the “market survey” pay their employees much more than does Enloe, and the other two are comparable. Then add into the equation these other hospitals’ better health-insurance plans; how does the administration figure “average"?

For all of the talk about the Enloe family, employee engagement, Planetree, core values, and so on, actions have shown they do not really care about their service workers. To management, we are just another section of the “market,” worthy of only the least they can get away with paying us. And it’s not that Enloe can’t afford to pay us more; in the last two years, Enloe made about $30 million in profits.

On the other hand, Enloe’s administrators take good care of themselves. No “average maximum” for them!

A study of the “market survey” hospitals’ various 990 tax filings—available to the public, and posted at www.enloemedicine.org—show that Enloe executives are by far the highest-paid executives of all the hospitals in the area. They earn twice as much, if not more. Just compare the total compensation from 2006 for then-CEO Dan Neumeister ($557,110) and Fremont-Rideout’s Mike Wiltermood ($178,295). No wonder Wiltermood is now at Enloe!

Using the same logic—and math—as they use for themselves, Enloe administrators should pay their employees around twice as much as other “market survey” employees.

The service unit is only asking for what health-care employees working in Red Bluff now get—not even what they’ll be getting next year, after they negotiate a new contract. Enloe service workers want not to be piggishly rich like Enloe’s executives, but simply to take care of our families without struggling from paycheck to paycheck. That’s all!