Ohio medical center says nurses got CEO's bonus wrong on billboard

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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus is disputing a union's pay and work grievances outlined on a local billboard, according to WOSU 89.7 NPR News.

The Ohio State University Nurses Organization, a local unit of the Ohio Nurses Association, purchased the billboard Aug. 2 for more than $1,500, the radio station reported. It includes bonus amounts for Ohio State Wexner Medical Center CEO Harold L. Paz and the hospital's previous COO, David McQuaid, who has retired, listed at $788,000 and $284,437, respectively.

Rick Lucas, BSN, RN, president of the Ohio State University Nurses Organization, told WOSU nurses take issue with the executive bonuses, and the union believes some of the money spent on executive bonuses should go toward patient care. He also noted that nurses received up to $300 in bonus money, as they have in other years.

"We're working incredibly short right now," Mr. Lucas told the station. "We've been asking the hospital for months to take meaningful steps to address recruitment and retention, and we haven't seen the hospital act on those efforts in a way that is satisfactory for staff."

In a statement shared with Becker's, Wexner spokesperson Marti Leitch expressed the medical center's disappointment about the billboard and said the union is spreading false information.

"This billboard is inaccurate. The truth is The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center spent $11.7 million last fiscal year in staff bonuses, pandemic leave pay for staff who had to quarantine or were out ill and preservation pay for staff who were unable to work due to the pandemic," she said.

Ms. Leitch said the medical center provides market-competitive compensation. A small number of leaders and faculty have an at-risk component as part of their total compensation, she said. That at-risk component is contingent on meeting pre-determined metrics and is not a bonus, she said.

"All of our compensation practices are benchmarked against comparable roles in the market, and at-risk incentive pay is a standard part of the compensation package for some roles in our industry," said Ms. Leitch.

The union represents more than 3,000 nurses at the medical center and negotiations are ongoing.

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