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Tarzana Needs to Plan for the Future, not Wish for the Past

April 28, 2011

Providence Tarzana management has told employees that the hospital is losing money and in bargaining they proposed dropping our wage scales by 6 percent over two years. This would freeze existing RN wages at their current rate. New RNs, however, would start at a rate 3 percent lower in 2011 and 6 percent lower in 2012.

Tarzana is a great place to work and our Union contract has kept RNs and pros working at the hospital for many years, thus increasing their pay rate and cost to the hospital. However, many can not afford to retire.

A whopping 30 percent of Tarzana RNs are over age 55. Management could encourage these employees to retire with an improved retirement plan — a Golden Handshake, if you will — and/or a retiree health insurance plan.

And how will Tarzana get new grads to work here if their rate for new grads is lower than other area hospitals?

Tarzana will have no edge in attracting RNs since wages won’t be enough to compensate for Tarzana’s lack of retirement plan options. Other area hospitals, including Providence’s own St. Joseph Medical Center, offer more toward an RN’s retirement.

Tarzana management is currently making a concerted effort to hire new grads and 12 to 15 percent of Tarzana’s workforce has less than two years of experience. If Tarzana’s experienced RNs are too expensive — and we’ve earned our pay grade — why doesn’t Tarzana management offer us an incentive to retire instead of trying to guilt us into it? Guilt doesn’t pay the bills. Heck, after 30 years of service, RNs at St. Joseph have reached their maximum retirement earning potential, thus encouraging a dignified retirement.

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