(MOBILE, Ala.) -- Only half of the employees at the University of South Alabama would get a raise in 2013, according to a letter written by university President Gordon Moulton and obtained by Local 15 News. The letter, sent in an email from Moulton to faculty and staff Tuesday, proposed a 3% December bonus and 3% salary bump starting October 1, 2013.
According to the letter, the money would only go to employees working in the school's General Division, which primarily employs educators. Employees in the other division, Hospitals & Clinics, would not get an increase. "Through no fault of our own, the nation's health care industry is facing historic financial upheaval, with many questions unresolved related to federal health care policy, reimbursement, and other variables that are crucial to the financial viability of all health care providers," Moulton wrote. "At this time, USC's highest priorities in the Hospitals and Clinics Division are to protect existing jobs and meet the unique health care needs of the Gulf Coast region," he added.
The proposal has been met with plenty of frustration from affected employees. "What I've said to them is that I share their disappointment and I wish we were in a position to offer them not only a one time supplement but a raise," Vice President of Health Sciences Dr. Ronald Franks told Local 15 News. Franks said he had been responding to emails from upset employees all day Wednesday.
The reasons Moulton and Franks, who helped advise on the proposal, have given employees is how compensation is tied directly to revenue. With the uncertainly of the immediate financial future of the hosptials division, Moulton made the final decision not to give the bumps to all employees.
In one email obtained by Local 15 News, one staffer wrote how Christmas would be different and how "a second job or different job altogether" might be their best option. The person went on to write, "It would seem prudent at this time to recognize [all] employees of USA, to offer thanks for their hard work," adding, "perhaps one of you would like to come over here and see the faces of the people who are affected on this side."
"Oh yeah, I can understand that; words can't be translated into groceries at the grocery store, but the words are important nonetheless and they need to understand this has nothing to do with their value to the health care system," Franks said.
Franks hoped with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act providing more coverage, clinical revenues would increase. With the additional money, Franks hoped the university would be able to spread the wealth to employees who missed out this time around.