Healthcare Workers Unveil Billboard Against Pomona Hospital’s High Prices, Excessive CEO Pay

[Oct. 4, 2016] POMONA, Calif. – Healthcare workers stepped up their campaign against out-of-control costs by unveiling a mobile billboard today that will travel around the community over the next two weeks to call out Pomona Valley Hospital for charging patients high prices while paying the CEO $1.7 million, far more than many CEOs who run larger hospitals.

“It’s just not right for a so-called non-profit hospital to charge patients such high prices while paying the CEO millions of dollars,” said Lucy Hodges, a Radiology Technologist at the facility. “Pomona Valley should be accountable to the people by providing quality, affordable patient care, not enriching top executives.”

Pomona Valley Hospital charges patients well above the state average for an overnight stay. According to a price list filed by the hospital with the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Pomona Valley charges patients almost $21,000 per night, while the statewide average is just over $12,000.

In addition, workers say the CEO’s compensation of $1.7 million (based on IRS filings for 2014) is excessive for someone running a single hospital with 300 beds. The CEO’s pay is the fifth highest among 67 non-profit hospital CEOs in California, despite the fact his hospital’s patient revenue ranked 13th among those same facilities.

While enriching executives, the hospital has repeatedly refused to recognize workers’ Jan. 22, 2016 vote to improve patient care and join SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). The hospital challenged the eligibility of workers to vote before a hearing officer at the local office of the National Labor Relations Board. The hearing officer issued a decision which confirmed that a majority of workers had voted for the union, but Pomona is now appealing that decision to the Regional Director of the NLRB. More than 1,000 registered nurses at the hospital are already members of a different union, SEIU 121RN.

Several area elected officials have urged hospital executives to begin negotiating a contract with workers, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), State Sens. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) and Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) and Pomona City Councilmembers John Nolte, Debra Martin and Christina Carrizosa.

More than 1,100 Pomona Valley Hospital employees are affected by hospital management’s delaying tactics, including licensed vocational nurses, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, physical therapy aides, radiology technologists, surgery technicians, ultrasound technologists, radiology support staff, admitting representatives, cooks and food service workers, customer care representatives, janitors and receptionists and secretaries.

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