(LITITZ, Pa. – LititzDailyNews.com) – Today, as you know by now, is National Nurses Day. It’s not enough to curate cute GIFs and slap on some hashtags in a moment like this. It’s time for us to take a good hard look at how we value those who care for our most vulnerable citizens under the most trying circumstances in the most urgent conditions. The current COVID-19 crisis has brought their heroism, bravery, and willingness to the forefront.
I wondered what I could give to these healthcare workers who give so much. Others have delivered meals, cards, banners, and balloons. Those things have a short shelf life. I want to give nurses something lasting. What can I offer that will help them and their families tomorrow and into the future?
Information to Empower Nurses to Earn More
So this is my gift to all the nurses out there: I want to empower you to be able to get better pay. Since I was contacted yesterday by a group of underpaid nurses and assistants at Luther Acres nursing home, in Lititz, PA, operated by the Luthercare organization, I will teach you some skills through their situation. Let’s look at what your employer currently says you are worth versus what the organization’s executives get paid.
CNA’s, Nurses are Definitely Underpaid
If you work for Luthercare as a CNA, you likely get paid between $13-18/hr., the rate they are currently advertising for new hires. RN’s make more, of course. On Indeed.com, Luthercare has an average rating of 3.4 from employees, where one Lititz RN Staff Nurse posted this last year: “Need More Staff. No meaningful activities for residents to help prevent falls. Abysmal falls record. Staff stretched too thin.” Sounds like a challenging workplace.
Luthercare did not respond to that comment on Indeed, and has failed to respond to request for comment since publication of our stories about the explosive outbreak of COVID-19 at Luther Acres that has sickened 57 to date and killed 17 at Luther Acres. So these are the very challenging conditions you work in, now, are you getting paid what you are worth?
Some of you may even have mustered the courage to ask for a raise. Maybe you got a slight increase, but you know you need more money. Most likely the supervisor said “We can’t afford to pay you more.” Really? They can’t afford not to pay you more. In fact, you should be getting hazard pay during this crisis.
You are doing the most difficult work during this COVID-19 pandemic: caring for those who are ill, highly contagious, and unable to care for themselves. You are splashed with their bodily fluids, exposed to their aerosol droplets, running lines, cleaning up vomit and feces and doing a hundred other things that most people, including your company’s CEO, would never have the courage to do. You do it at risk to your self and your family. The system cannot function without you. Remember that.
Next, you need to learn how to find out how much money the organization has, then how much your boss makes. How do you do that? Well, in most cases, it’s published. If you work for a non-profit, like Luthercare and most hospitals, the organization is required to file a Form 990 annually with the IRS that lists net assets and executive compensation. It’s like the nonprofit version of the Form 1040 you file.
These forms can be a little intimidating, but if you know where to look, it’s quick and painless. Kind of like what you tell your patients during a blood draw or a shot. So let me walk you through it.
Cash That Your Employer Could Pay You
So let’s look on the Luthercare Form 990 for the period ending December 2018, the last year published online, which is pictured next to this article. How much money, listed as net assets or funds, the organization has available is listed on the first page, line 22 (see photo) where we read that at the end of 2018, Luthercare had net assets of $15,445,811.
Luthercare also has a hefty investment account–the organization holds over $21 million in publicly traded securities, like stocks, which it could sell and easily pay you more (see Part X, Line 11). Could you use some of that $21 million? They really should have invested in PPE and N95 masks for you all long before this outbreak with that $21 million instead of investing in stock.
How Much Do the Executives Get Paid?
Now, how much do the executives earn? Just scroll down to Part VII, Compensation of Officers.
Scroll down until you find the name Carl McAloose, identified as President and CEO of Luthercare. Run your finger across, and find out how much he received in compensation from the organization. If you found $346,921 you are correct!
But that’s not all McAloose received in 2018. So keep sliding your finger right and you’ll see that Carl McAloose also received $86,667 in “estimated other compensation from the organization and related organizations.” Now, add those two numbers together, and you’ll find out how much McAloose received from Luthercare. If you got $433,588, you are correct! That’s almost half a million dollars!
In fact, the top four Luthercare executives received $1,114,992 in actual and “other” compensation for the year ending 2018. The breakdown is: CFO/Treasurer Elizabeth Brennan, $233,564; Sr VP Human Resources Blake Daub, $231,307; VP of Operations Matthew Oathout, $216,533.
Now, let’s do some simple math to figure out how much McAloose earns per hour in a nice vomit-free office versus what you earn in the trenches. He earned $8,338/wk, or $208 an hour. He earns roughly 10x more than you do. He could very likely live on less. You probably can’t.
A Challenge to Luthercare’s CEO, and to All the Healthcare CEOs: Give Up This Year’s Pay, and Give it to Your Workers
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some kind-hearted CEOs have even reduced their salaries to zero so that they can help their employees.
In the spirit of National Nurses Day, I challenge Luthercare CEO Carl McAloose, and all the other healthcare and long-term care facility CEOs out there, to give up this year’s salary–all of it, as well as any additional forms of compensation–and designate it instead for payment to the healthcare workers under your employment. They are the deserving healthcare heroes.
Recommended Resources: Mika Brzezinski’s books are a wonderful reference for women seeking to advance their careers and increase their income. Earn It! Know Your Value and Grow Your Career in Your Twenties may be the best resource for early-career healthcare employees. Mika is also the author of Know Your Value, and Grow Your Value, which have informed women of all ages.
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Lynn Rebuck is the editor and publisher of award-winning LititzDailyNews.com, the only independent digital news source in Lititz. Lynn is an award-winning photojournalist who was invited to the White House and has received top recognition from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and has been profiled in Editor & Publisher magazine for her unparalleled dedication to publishing LititzDailyNews.com to benefit the community.