Summa Health System is eliminating premium pay for about 230 nurses who work weekend shifts at Akron City, St. Thomas, Barberton and Wadsworth-Rittman hospitals.
The nurses recently were notified that they will no longer receive bonus pay for working weekends beginning June 29, Summa spokesman Mike Bernstein said Monday.
“Based on current compensation models at similar organizations in our market, we have adjusted our nursing compensation as related to premium pay for weekend hours worked,” Bernstein said. “No changes have been made to anyone’s base pay. … We did not announce a reduction in hours for the nurses in question, and we did not make any changes to care at the bedside.”
However, he said, the elimination of the premium pay will result in the employees being classified as part-time instead of full-time workers, which will affect their benefits beginning in 2015.
The move affects about 3 percent of the estimated 7,000 employees at Summa’s four fully owned hospitals.
Bernstein declined to reveal the amount of the weekend bonuses or the total cost savings the health system will achieve with the cut.
“Much of the expense structure is related to staffing,” he said. “So productivity improvement is always going to be a key initiative.”
Akron Children’s Hospital doesn’t offer premium pay to nurses for weekend shifts, Lisa Aurilio, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, said in an email.
“We do have compensation programs that acknowledge our staff who work additional hours during a work week or if they work extra weekends than the regular schedule requires,” she said.
Akron General spokesman Jim Armstrong said the medical center continues to offer a pay and benefits incentive program for nurses who exclusively work weekends.
Nurses must meet minimum experience requirements to qualify, he said.
The incentive program benefits the nurses by providing options for those who want a nontraditional schedule and the hospital by maintaining an experienced staff on the weekends, Armstrong said.
“Akron General does not have plans to make changes to its weekender program at this time,” he said.
Aultman Hospital in Canton also offers weekend premium pay to employees, spokeswoman Tiffany Zingg said. “We are continually evaluating our programs for efficiency and opportunity. However, we have no plans at this time to change our weekend pay.”
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