UI Health Care officials to take pay cuts


More than 40 UI Health Care senior management leaders will take pay cuts as part of a three-tier approach toward reducing health-care expenses, officials announced Tuesday.

UI Health Care officials — including UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO Ken Kates — will take voluntary salary reductions for the rest of fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 totaling $1.6 million.

“UI Health Care believes these decisions are responsive to the significant challenges the overall economy is experiencing,” Jean Robillard, the UI vice president for Medical Affairs, said in a statement. “Our financial performance at UI Health Care is going to fall short of budget, and, therefore, senior leadership must lead the way in volunteering to help reduce expenses.”

In addition to the pay cuts, the same senior leaders will not receive any salary increases starting July 1 and will forgo any “incentive compensation” for reaching overall organizational and individual goals.

In total, UI Health Care — which includes the UIHC and the Carver College of Medicine — will save $2.6 million from all of the initiatives.

Robillard said these steps could continue after the fiscal 2010, depending on the organization’s financial performance.

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Some UI professors said they believed the pay cuts at the UI are necessary.

“It’s as much about symbolism,” said pathology Professor Michael Cohen at Tuesday’s Faculty Council meeting. “If the faculty don’t take cuts, it’s a terrible message.”

Some UIHC workers said they supported the move.

“If they’re willing to sacrifice their own salary, I support them,” said child life assistant and UI junior Erin Tuken.

UIHC spokesman Tom Moore said UI Health Care officials have looked into pay reductions for some time and will continue investigating cost-saving initiatives.

UI President Sally Mason applauded the decision.

“UI Health Care has been working diligently since September to reduce expenses, and it is been planning on how to manage the economic downturn for this fiscal year and next,” she said in a statement. “I commend the UI Health Care leadership team for its prompt action in addressing the financial situation.”

These most recent money-saving measures come two weeks after UIHC officials eliminated free outpatient parking as a result of the sour economy. The move will save the hospital $1.2 million annually.

Moore said UI Health Care officials will speak to the state Board of Regents next week about additional ways to reduce expenses.

DI reporter Anna Lothson contributed to this report.

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