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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 17 2014, @08:08AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the take-it-from-the-top dept.

Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas[1] will raise its own minimum wage to $10.25 an hour next month...
The wage increase will cost the hospital about $350,000 a year. The expense will be covered with money from the upcoming quarter's bonus pool for the hospital's 60 vice presidents and top executives.

After this, every worker employed by Dallas County will make at least $10.25 an hour (still not a living wage by many measures).
Note also that this will barely put a dent in that pool, expected to be at least $3M for the year.

[1] People who have memories of November 22, 1963 will remember that as a historic location

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @08:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @08:18AM (#56272)

    They were planning to use their bonus money to send their kids to medical school!

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by aristarchus on Tuesday June 17 2014, @08:41AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @08:41AM (#56275) Journal

    What is this? Class warfare? Paying the people that actually take care of people enough to take care of themselves may be all fine and dandy, but to take it for those least willing to give! Do you not know that vice-whatevers have children to feed, mistresses to support, and bookies to pay off? It is not fair to take from those who have taken real risks, by having children, mistresses, or bookies, to give to those who just work for a living by helping people without any thought of the down side, like, that by helping people, you know, people might get helped! Oh, the horror! Oh the humanity! I tell you, it is class warfare, and the 60 vice-whatevers probably outnumber those who actually change bed-pans, so you know who I am going to side with! Until the revolution. Then I never knew them. But I can provide testimony about what jerks they were, when it came to paying to help people.

    • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:55AM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:55AM (#56284)

      I wonder what the hospital needs 60 VPs for. Is it for changing diapers and emptying bedpans? What else can 60 VPs do?

      I wonder what the qualifications of these VPs are. Do they know anything about healthcare at all? Probably less than those workers who make minimum wage like they're some kind of useless drones.

      The whole fucking world is turning upside down.

      • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:13AM

        by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:13AM (#56291) Homepage

        If it's anything like the stories some people tell about the NHS, they're mostly former ward doctors who are too old and/or incompetent to let them near patients, but are too difficult to sack.

        --
        systemd is Roko's Basilisk
        • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:34AM

          by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:34AM (#56295)

          I didn't RTFA, but this is not in Europe, it's in the US, and even more, it's in Texas.

          This hospital is most likely a private corporation, so the comparison to NHS doesn't apply.

          I live in a country with public healthcare and never heard of something as insane as this. I've read a few crazy stories about private hospitals, but nothing with these proportions.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @01:49PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @01:49PM (#56361)

            In the 90s our congress made it so everyone had to get insurance thru their work. This covered about 70-80% of the population. This created a huge influx of money into the system.

            We went from hospitals being run by a few hundred people to a few thousand. The cost ratio was not in peoples minds anymore after a few years. I can get 'free health care for 50 bucks' (neither free but cheap to me but not my insurance company). With the decoupling of cost to service people no longer really cared about what the real cost was. The hospitals incorporated from community things that were supported usually by donations and taxes and fees; went to corporate for profit organizations. There have been huge massive mergers. For example where I grew up there were about 7 hospitals that provided different levels of care. Now there is 1 very large organization that runs them all and the cities around it. The hospital where I was born went from a building with maybe 100 rooms to a sprawling complex of I think the last number I heard was 2300 where they charge 1500+ just to be in a room for 1 night.

            The decoupling of cost vs service has made it very easy for these sprawling organizations to manipulate people into paying outrageous costs. You can in some cases pay 80 dollars for what is a disposable cotton swab. Something you could buy a lifetime supply for with 80 bucks. It is was when the insurance companies could no longer swing their investments (they saw the writing on the wall a year before the rest of us). It is why they pushed thru the ACA. They needed ever larger bases of people paying in to cover the ever growing costs. Their investments imploded and they went from a 95% payout rate to a 110%. As insurance companies are not a ponzi scheme but more like an investment bank with a large payout rate.

            We thought costs were high a couple of years ago? Just wait and see. On average an American pays 10x for the same out of care as people get in the rest of the world. Those VPs and junkets out to the cayman islands dont pay for themselves...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:18AM (#56292)

        The whole fucking world is turning upside down.

        I'll be fun to watch when it finally tips over.

      • (Score: 1) by unauthorized on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:35AM

        by unauthorized (3776) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @10:35AM (#56296)

        I was going to post the same thing, but then I noticed the hospital must be employing nearly 3000 workers if it costs it 3.5e5/year to increase wages by 10.25. I can potentially see them needing that many execs. Not that I'm saying your suspicions are wrong, you are probably right on the money about most of them being useless.

        • (Score: 2) by monster on Wednesday June 18 2014, @08:15AM

          by monster (1260) on Wednesday June 18 2014, @08:15AM (#56829) Journal

          It's not an increase by $10.25, it's an increase to $10.25. As told in TFA, their previous minimum salary was $8.78/hour, so an increment by $1.47.

          We are not told how many hours per month their workers do, but if we assume about 340 workdays it would give around 700 work-hours per day, or nearly 90 people with a 8 hour workday. Compared to that number, 60 vice presidents and top executives is a lot!

          Of course, we don't know what percentage of their workers do more than the minimum and are not affected by the raise, which would indeed change the perception about their relative numbers.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @11:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @11:42AM (#56309)

    I bitch about a lot of trends, so for full disclosure I just say up front that I want you all off my fucking lawn. But it is an annoying trend that people put fucking footnotes into a small paragraph. Some idiots put multiple footnotes. What is the purpose of that, other than to try to come off looking more scholarly and elite? Do you really need to put a fucking distracting footnote here when you could just simply tack that sentence on at the end?

    And since I'm bitching anyways, what's with all the idiots who start off their comments with "Um, " or "Er, ". Are you trying to intentionally sound like a dumbshit? Are we supposed to visualize you avoiding eye contact, maybe looking down at your shoes, while giving us a response that you clearly want to come off as one delivered with no confidence?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @04:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @04:45PM (#56513)

      the idiots who start off their comments with "Um, " or "Er, ".

      Some people say "um" or "er" to express puzzlement. Such as "Uhh, I don't think it's a good idea to put that fork in the light socket Bill!" You could interpret this as "You couldn't be so stupid as to really do that, could you?" It is sarcasm, which I understand can be difficult to parse over the internet, but to call people you don't understand "idiots" is, well, idiotic.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:24PM (#56604)

      footnotes/endnotes in a small paragraph

      1) The extra bit wasn't part of the original item.
      Apparently, you aren't familiar with "blockquote".

      2) Inserting something in the middle mangles the flow of the thought.
      If -you- had thoughts that were deep enough, -you- might be familiar with that meme as well.

      --gewg_

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:06PM (#56318)

    Executives are giving up about 12% at most (using the low figure for the bonus pool). Sort of rubbing the workers' noses in it, since executives will probably still make more money in bonuses than workers make for actually working.

    I guess it's good that there's any sort of limit on executive greed, since executives usually decide the bonus they want and fire people to free up that amount of money. But this is not exactly a progressive paradise or anything.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by tynin on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:15PM

    by tynin (2013) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:15PM (#56321) Journal

    For Dallas, it looks like that increase, at least if you are single and without children, does put them into the living wage range.
    http://livingwage.mit.edu/places/4811319000 [mit.edu]

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:30PM (#56324)

    The summary makes it seem as if the $350,000 is coming out of a $3m pot.. the article sez that the the $350,000 is coming out of a $750,000 - $1.2m pot ($350,000 is for the quarter; $3m is for the year)

    The wage increase will cost the hospital about $350,000 a year. The expense will be covered with money from the upcoming quarter's bonus pool for the hospital's 60 vice presidents and top executives. That pool was between $750,000 and $1.2 million in the most recent quarter, and it’s between $3 million and $5 million for the full year.

    Though I should be clear that I agree with the poster's sentiment, the bonus pool should shrink further.

    • (Score: 2) by monster on Wednesday June 18 2014, @08:22AM

      by monster (1260) on Wednesday June 18 2014, @08:22AM (#56831) Journal

      From TFA:

      The wage increase will cost the hospital about $350,000 a year. The expense will be covered with money from the upcoming quarter's bonus pool for the hospital's 60 vice presidents and top executives. That pool was between $750,000 and $1.2 million in the most recent quarter, and it's between $3 million and $5 million for the full year.

      The $350.000 figure is for the whole year, so it's OK to compare it to the pool for the whole year ($3m-$5m) and not for just the last quarter.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by RaffArundel on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:47PM

    by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @12:47PM (#56331) Homepage

    Two things:

    After this, every worker employed by Dallas County will make at least $10.25 an hour (still not a living wage by many measures).

    It's not? Maybe you are forgetting the cost of living is a lot lower in Dallas than the cities listed in your link. Here is what CNN has to say based on 100k in San Francisco:

    Comparable salary in Dallas, TX: $59,463
    Price difference in Dallas, TX
    Groceries 19% less
    Housing 75% less
    Utilities 9% more
    Transportation 11% less
    Health Care 17% less

    So, how high does the minimum need to be to meet your standard? Do you want San Francisco to raise it to ~$20/hr or do you think the equivalent of $35k a year is good?

    Note also that this will barely put a dent in that pool, expected to be at least $3M for the year.

    Okay, looks like another problem with perspective - it is over 10% of the pool. We finally get to correctly state: the executive DECIMATED their bonuses for the good of the workers.

    So, serious question - what exactly do they need to do to satisfy you?

    As an aside, Parkland is the main public hospital for the (high population) county. In addition to being the central office for all the Dallas county public health facilities, it is a teaching hospital for both Texas Women's University and a branch of UT's medical school. It is also huge. So having a large number of executives is not all that surprising, what is surprising is what that bonus actually works out to - seems actually low. But ignore me - while I have never needed their services they have saved the lives of friends and family, so I am biased.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Tuesday June 17 2014, @01:27PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 17 2014, @01:27PM (#56353)

      Is it a living wage?

      Googled "average rent in Dallas" and got "As of May, 2014, average apartment rent within 10 miles of Dallas, TX is $1137."

      Now note the minimum income vs the average rent MIGHT not be fair, so lets research it. I googled for median income Dallas TX and from citydata I got "Estimated median household income in 2011: $40,585" So assume a two earner household (room mate, couple, nuclear family, etc) and further more make the rather optimistic assumption two adults means two employed adults (LOL that is so not true, there aren't enough jobs, but...) that means the median worker in TX gets $20250 per year. 10.25*40*52 = $21K, which is ridiculously close. So the average dude living with a roommate in Dallas will earn $10.25 * 40 * 4 = $1640 gross per month before taxes, while paying 1137/2 = $570 in rent. 570 / 1640 = 35%. Most people think its reasonable to budget about 1/3 your income on housing. So at least in Dallas this is a pretty reasonable pay rate.

      It does clearly show the destruction of the middle class, where $10/hr is now the median. So half the population is worse off (OMFG) and half is better off (the 60 VPs splitting an enormous bonus pool).

      I would be fairly mystified about the lower transportation expenses in TX because in urban CA there's supposedly decent cheap public transit, but in TX everyone feels the need to drive a 8 MPG F-350 dualie 15 miles to the nearest convenience store. I know public transit is expensive, but is it really that much more expensive? That does make the other figures look a little "weird". Also WRT cost of living I'm sure Amazon doesn't discount your purchases by 75% merely because the shipping zip is poorer, I know cars and gasoline cost the same, food is "about the same" other then the effect of cost of store rent and cost of employee labor.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by RaffArundel on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:22PM

        by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:22PM (#56388) Homepage

        If you are going to use the numbers from 2011, keep in mind the average rent was $794 according to http://www.city-data.com/city/Dallas-Texas.html [city-data.com] but I don't have a quick source for median income for 2014, but you are welcome to post it.

        I got "Estimated median household income in 2011: $40,585" So assume a two earner household (room mate, couple, nuclear family, etc) and further more make the rather optimistic assumption two adults means two employed adults (LOL that is so not true, there aren't enough jobs, but...) that means the median worker in TX gets $20250 per year.

        Median household income is obviously by household, so simply dividing by 2 is not a fair representation. The per capita income in 2011 was $25k. The question was: is it a living wage? I am fortunate, so I don't know how hard the budgeting that amount is, but as I asked in the title - Perspective? I think $25k in the Dallas area is probably better than $30-35k in many other areas where I lived.

        I would be fairly mystified about the lower transportation expenses in TX because in urban CA there's supposedly decent cheap public transit, but in TX everyone feels the need to drive a 8 MPG F-350 dualie 15 miles to the nearest convenience store.

        They do? I can't recall seeing one in recent memory which didn't have a company logo on the side. I suspect there is some stereotyping going on - the highways around here are awash with Prius not Hummers. Transportation prices are lower because fuel costs are lower.

        I know public transit is expensive, but is it really that much more expensive? That does make the other figures look a little "weird". Also WRT cost of living I'm sure Amazon doesn't discount your purchases by 75% merely because the shipping zip is poorer, I know cars and gasoline cost the same, food is "about the same" other then the effect of cost of store rent and cost of employee labor.

        We are probably not the best demographic to discuss this, but people don't get their toilet paper from Amazon. As previously mentioned, neither gas nor food is "about the same" according to CNN. I am mildly surprised that utilities run higher, but that just encourages people to use less, which I am all for. I don't live there, so I don't use public transportation but the DART has some very good coverage. I don't know how utilized it is, so I won't speculate.

        It does clearly show the destruction of the middle class, where $10/hr is now the median. So half the population is worse off (OMFG) and half is better off (the 60 VPs splitting an enormous bonus pool).

        You won't get an argument from me regarding the state of the middle class - but throwing around those numbers without accounting for cost of living skews the real issue. My point wasn't that at all regardless, it was putting things in perspective. So, instead of a $50k bonus, these executives get ~45k and the 5k drop in their bonus goes to the workers, who now get ~1.5k more a year. You may think it is not enough, but this is a good thing. The summary makes it look like they should not have bothered or worse, that this is a bad thing.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:41PM (#56413)

      Okay, looks like another problem with perspective - it is over 10% of the pool. We finally get to correctly state: the executive DECIMATED their bonuses for the good of the workers.

      Where I come from, the boss gets paid last. Where I come from, bonuses are paid when performance exceeds expectations. If this organization has been choosing to pay bonuses to its executives while keeping its workers dependent on food stamps, then I see that as transferring money from the SNAP program into executive compensation. I really hate when my taxes are used to make a company look successful or to pay executive bonuses.

      Honestly, you can use "decimated" and its connotation of 10% mortality to make this seem like a huge sacrifice, but no one's going to die. These exec's are not making any kind of a grand sacrifice here. They still get 100% of their salaries, benefits, and retirement. They give up, on average, less than $6000 each, from a bonus pool of $50k each. Which is, let me remind you, BONUS money for excellent management performance.

      In the libertarian utopia, companies pay their employees as much as possible in order to recruit the best labor. Don't you think "as much as possible" is more than the legally mandated minimum? I think this is an excellent move. I'm not going to criticize it as too little sacrifice from the execs (although do I think even using the word "sacrifice" inflates the exchange), and I'm not going to suggest that the hospital should pay all of its employees the Dallas median wage. I think it's an excellent demonstration that paying its lowliest employees a reasonable wage is not going to bankrupt a well run organization and an excellent demonstration that the multiple between lowest and highest paid employees has gotten out of hand.

      • (Score: 2) by RaffArundel on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:54PM

        by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:54PM (#56666) Homepage

        Honestly, you can use "decimated" and its connotation of 10% mortality to make this seem like a huge sacrifice, but no one's going to die.

        Nah, that was a joke that fell flat. There was something FINALLY that really was 10% (I have to listen to sports fans throw that word around a lot) so my stream of thought went that way.

        Let's be even more clear - there is nothing altruistic about this move. They want to keep the employees so they don't have to spend even more money hiring and training new people. If that makes the workers' lives better I am all for it. The submitter clearly finds anything less than full blown class warfare unacceptable - so I got trolled by TFS.

        In the libertarian utopia, companies pay their employees as much as possible in order to recruit the best labor. Don't you think "as much as possible" is more than the legally mandated minimum?

        Do libertarians actually believe that? This is a sincere question - because I thought they believed in paying that mythical "market value" (re: artificially deflated due to lack of actual competition) for talent.

        I guess the problem with answering your question is - what is "possible"? I speculate if you are just in it for the profit, "as much as possible" is actually "as little as possible". Conversely, if you have a business and you actually want your employees to be dare I say happy, perhaps the bottom line profit isn't what matters and you judge your success on customer satisfaction. In which case, it would be stupid to pay them a cut-rate amount.

        In this case, the hospital decided that paying the person previously at the lowest rung $8 an hour was a bad thing. They could easily afford it, so they gave them a raise. I'd like to see more of that.

    • (Score: 1) by strattitarius on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:59PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @02:59PM (#56430) Journal
      First, I am somewhat uneasy about your attitude that our entire goal should be to provide the most basic livable wage... So where does entertainment come in? What if something unexpected happens? Where is the savings account line item? Allowing people to scrape by is the same as allowing them to be an indentured servant.

      Have you ever played a tower defense game and know you need to save up for *SUPERSPECIALUPGRADE* but can't because you are spending every dime trying to prevent those damn trolls from breaking through? That's what it's like to make about $10/hr, when you are single with no kids. When you have kids it's like putting the TD game on super hard and getting your ass handed to you.

      Second, the cost of living doesn't change that much from normal place to normal place. That does not include the bay area, NYC, some of Chicago and some of Seattle (and probably a few others). If you are trying to compare cost of living just throw those out the window... it skews the data. What's the difference from Dallas to Cleveland? Probably not that much. Cleveland to Georgia? And finally Georgia to Dallas? It's not much different.

      So what do I want... I want a realization that we have setup a society where the well-off can move about freely, without the need for armed security guards because we have police paid for by taxes, and we have ensured that people do not become unable to meet their needs and some desires and turn to taking possessions from the well-off crowd.
      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2) by RaffArundel on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:33PM

        by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @09:33PM (#56658) Homepage

        First, I am somewhat uneasy about your attitude that our entire goal should be to provide the most basic livable wage...

        It looks like you are responding to me, but you may be reading your own prejudices into this discussion. At no point in time did I advocate "allowing the plebes to just scrape by" suggested by this reply. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "our entire goal" but I would probably surprise you if I actually voiced my opinions on such things concerning the growing divide between earners and the detrimental effect it most certainly has on society. I also have rather centrist views on the the role of government providing social security (note the lowercase) to the citizens and residents of this country.

        Second, the cost of living doesn't change that much from normal place to normal place. That does not include the bay area, NYC, some of Chicago and some of Seattle (and probably a few others). If you are trying to compare cost of living just throw those out the window... it skews the data. What's the difference from Dallas to Cleveland? Probably not that much. Cleveland to Georgia? And finally Georgia to Dallas? It's not much different.

        I said no such thing. The post suggested this wasn't a livable wage based on prices in San Francisco and Seattle, here is the direct quote: "After this, every worker employed by Dallas County will make at least $10.25 an hour (still not a living wage by many measures)."

        That link is an article by Ralph Nader praising the minimum wage hikes in some of the most expensive places to live - to about this level. So, if you want to argue that $10 an hour isn't livable in Dallas (or Cleveland) fine, take it up with him, but it does stretch a lot further in the places you mention than the places where the link suggests it is wonderful. TFS reeks of click-bait and I was hoping we left that behind at the other site.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:30PM (#56609)

      what exactly do they need to do to satisfy you?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hara-kiri [wikipedia.org]
      If there's going to be class warfare, I want total victory.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:59PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday June 17 2014, @07:59PM (#56631) Journal

        Careful, I got modded "T" for using the "C" word!

        • (Score: 1) by Hawkwind on Wednesday June 18 2014, @12:03AM

          by Hawkwind (3531) on Wednesday June 18 2014, @12:03AM (#56698)

          Wish I had mod points. I could mod you down for complaining about modding, and mod you up for being funny.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday June 18 2014, @02:07AM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday June 18 2014, @02:07AM (#56724) Journal

            But that would be just like taking from the VPs to pay the minimum wage workers! A net wash! (And please don't mod me down, I wasn't complaining!! Please, sir, may I have another? )