Tri-City workers collect signatures to cap administrators’ pay

Tri-City workers collect signatures to cap administrators’ pay
Tri-City worker Cheryl Rhead, right, talks to Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista residents about capping hospital administrator pay. Workers collected ballot initiative signatures at Oceanside Farmers Market. Photo by Promise Yee

REGION — Tri-City Medical Center workers were out in force at Oceanside’s Farmers Market on Jan. 21 to collect signatures to bring forward a ballot initiative to cap hospital administrators’ pay.

The union group’s ballot proposal limits top salaries at the community-funded hospital to $250,000 a year, and asks for annual publication of highest salaries.

“We’re trying to cap the pay of executive administrators at the public hospital,” Mel Porter, 12-year hospital EVS, said. “They’re paid with tax dollars. We don’t think it’s right.”

Tri-City Medical Center serves Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista.

Registered voters approached on Jan. 23 were very supportive of the ballot initiative. Comments ranged from empathy for hospital frontline workers, to wanting changes in all professions to ensure pay equity.

Grace Samborski, of Oceanside, said she signed the ballot initiative because she heard of top positions getting all the money, and patient care suffering.

“All the money is going to the top, that’s the way life is now,” Samborski said.

Workers who were out collecting signatures also had concerns about a recent administrator pay raise, and cutbacks in employee perks.

Tri-City Medical Center is staying tight lipped about accusations, which is leaving workers and the public with a one-sided picture of the issue.

Some demands of workers seem doable, such as publication of administrators’ salaries, which is public record and can be researched. The hospital has not stepped forward to share salaries.

Records of 2013 community hospital administrators’ salaries dug up by Tri-City workers union group, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, list Tri-City CEO Tim Moran’s salary at $456,000 annually.

Moran ranked seventh highest in pay out of 37 California public healthcare districts.

Other community hospital CEO salaries ranged from $84,000 to $762,000 a year, with most paid in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.

Moran currently earns $525,000 a year.

Tri-City also has one of the highest bed counts.

Other accusations of workers like administrator salary increases and diminished worker perks warrant an explanation, especially to clear up those that are false or misunderstood. The hospital has not released a response, and there currently are no plans to do so.

A survey of 500 area voters, conducted last year, showed 83 percent support an initiative to cap hospital top salaries.

“The public is very concerned about excessive salaries,” Sean Wherley, media relations for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, said. “It’s the public’s charge to hold them accountable for the best patient care, keeping prices in check.”

David Bennett, Tri-City’s chief marketing officer, said Tri-City Medical Center pays fair market value for all employees at the hospital, and had no further comments.

Workers have been in salary negotiations with the hospital since April 2015. There is no estimate from either side on when a contract settlement could be reached.

Workers need to collect 14,000 signatures by June to put the initiative on the November ballot.


  1. Barb McCune 9 months ago

    The salary of all Tri-City hospital workers is posted on the Transparent California website. Perhaps it would be helpful to introduce those suggest that they are not being made available to Google

    What I find alarming is that the marketing director receives the third highest pay and benefits package. This is the guy who puts the lipstick on the pig. His package in 2014 was reported to be $326,348.00.

    Though there are some good, caring employees there, most of the locals who have been treated there know to avoid it like the plague. Perhaps that is why they have spend over 1 million dollars this year on advertising – an attempt to bring patients in from outside the district who do not know any better. Here is an example of how patients are treated. You will have to turn it up and listen to the end. The nurse thinks she hung up the phone but she didn’t. Yes, you heard it right, she tells the patient to hurry up and die. She notes that he is having a seizure and says that she is not going to treat it. The patient was seizing because they gave him to much insulin. Yes, there were at least 3 people in the room and nobody reported it. Guess it is just standard operating procedure over there.

  2. Leticia 8 months ago

    I tried to go onto the website www. StopCEOgreed. com to sign the petition but I was not able to access it.

  3. Lynette 7 months ago is not working, where can I sign a petition?

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