California Healthline Daily Edition

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SEIU-UHW Revives Ballot Measure To Cap Hospital Executives’ Pay

On Friday, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West revived a ballot measure that would cap hospital executives' pay after dropping a similar initiative 18 months ago, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/20).

Background

In November 2013, SEIU-UHW filed two proposed ballot initiatives with the state Attorney General's Office in an effort to engage the state's hospital industry in a public debate over rising costs and high executive salaries. The filing included:

However, SEIU-UHW in May 2014 reached an agreement with the California Hospital Association to end its push for the two ballot initiatives.

The agreement called for:

  • CHA and most of the state's 430 hospitals to implement a new "code of conduct" to ban negative campaigning between CHA and SEIU-UHW and make it easier for workers to join unions; and
  • The two organizations to jointly fund a $100 million campaign aimed at increasing Medi-Cal payments and reforming the program.

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (California Healthline, 6/10/14).

Details of Measure Revival

The revived ballot measure would limit compensation packages to no more than $450,000 annually for:

  • Administrators and managers at not-for-profit hospitals;
  • Hospital executives; and
  • Hospital groups and affiliated medical organizations.

SEIU-UHW spokesperson Steve Trossman said the union's partnership and labor management agreement with CHA will remain. He added that the union had not yet decided whether it will revive its ballot measures on charity care and hospital pricing.

CHA's Response

CHA officials said SEIU-UHW's decision violates last year's agreement.

In a statement, CHA CEO Duane Dauner said, "Artificially imposing a cap on compensation will result in a loss of qualified executives and undermine the ability of hospitals to meet the challenges ahead."

CHA officials did not say whether they planned to terminate their partnership with SEIU-UHW over the matter (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/20).

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