The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is in the preliminary stage of restructuring the salaries of its nurses and other staff, according to chief executive officer Esther Muña.
This will help the Commonwealth Health Center be more competitive in attracting healthcare professionals, she said.
After setting a general assembly with hospital staff and management to begin the discussion of addressing salary disparities and CHCC’s plans for recruitment and retention last Wednesday, July 22, more meetings will be held this week and upcoming weeks after with the other divisions.
CHCC will be including these discussions with the other divisions of CHCC such as Public Health, Rota Health Center, Tinian Health Center, Kagman Community Health Center, and Community Guidance Center.
Muña said the preliminary plan was revealed to CHC and the dialysis staff and will focus on retaining employees while recruiting more staff and developing the local health care workforce.
Muña explained that it is necessary to reconstruct the salary base to begin “rebuilding” an appropriate salary structure that is fair and competitive for the healthcare workforce in the region.
One example for the restructuring of the salaries, recruiting, and retaining was the housing allowance, which was granted to some employees and not to others. Last November, CHC housing perks for CHC staff became no more.
“It is time to have reasonable projections that in the end will be beneficial to both CHCC and the employees. This is a partnership that must happen and certain considerations were discussed and that final plans will be made but I insisted that everyone’s contribution to this plan is necessary before it is considered final,” Muña said.
Staff voiced their opinions on the matter and considerations mentioned were bringing back the night differential, correcting classifications of exempt employees and covered employees, recruiting more nurses, restructuring and creating classifications that are determined by skill, years of experience, and education and licensure, as well as revamping the evaluation process to a more measurable process.
“We want to retain our hardworking staff and we want them to know that they are valued and, despite the challenges CHCC has endured over the years, many of them stayed and endured these challenges with us. We want them to know that we are very appreciative of them. I am very honored to have them here working to provide health care to our people,” Muña said.