[March 18, 2016] OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Healthcare workers say the recent decision by the Tri-City hospital District Board to force out Medical Center CEO Tim Moran sets the stage for the healthcare district board to better serve the community’s interest.
The hospital workers called on the Tri-City board of directors to improve accountability at the taxpayer-supported hospital by limiting executive compensation and creating district-based elections to fill board seats.
“We encourage the hospital board to take advantage of this opportunity by hiring a leader who answers first to the community and understands patient care is the top priority,” said Angie Green, a cook at Tri-City Medical Center. “We need a CEO who will lead the board toward three critical goals: First, ensure that the hospital board make-up reflects the community it serves. Second, respect the role frontline workers play in making sure patients get the best possible care. Third, either support the ballot initiative to limit executive compensation at the hospital or pass a board resolution that achieves the same goal.”
Moran leaves after less than two years, a period plagued by long patient delays in the emergency department and plans to outsource more than 400 full-time jobs for lower pay, a move that could undermine the quality of patient care. At one point, Moran threatened to leave the hospital if the healthcare district board refused to give him a $300,000 annual raise.
To address runaway compensation, healthcare workers are collecting voter signatures to qualify an initiative for the Nov. 8 ballot to limit Tri-City executive pay to $250,000, still more than the salary of Gov. Jerry Brown, who earns $183,000 while managing a state budget of $167 billion, the largest state in the U.S. and the eighth largest economy in the world. Moran, meanwhile, managed a hospital budget of $343 million.
In addition, they are asking the board to switch to district-based seats for electing board members, a system that would make sure representation on the board reflects the makeup of the district. For example, although Latinos make up 35 percent of residents in the healthcare district, only one Latino has been elected to the Tri-City board of directors since 1970.
Workers also are urging the board to halt plans to contract out 460 jobs, saying it would result in employees with fewer skills, less training and reduced pay and benefits, which means more staff turnover, inferior patient care and less money in the local economy.
More than 800 employees at Tri-City Medical Center are members of SEIU-UHW.