Beacon Health System announces pay cuts for workers

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 6:50 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Beacon Health System said employees working under contract will see wage reductions in May.

The organization announced the changes to BHS staff via e-mail last week, writing in part:

“In our evaluation of pay rates and the impact to the organization of continuing to compensate certain clinical roles at rate significantly above market average, we have made the difficult decision to reduce pay rates for associates with individual employment agreements.”

For example, Beacon said those signing 3- and 5-year agreements in 2021-2022 will see cuts of $3/hour and $7/hour, respectively.

A Beacon employee who asked to remain anonymous told WNDU the reductions come after the health system boosted pay for nurses not even two years ago.

In a September 2021 compensation FAQ sheet, Beacon outlined nurses who got their licenses 10 years prior could increase from about $33/hour to a little over $47/hour if they signed 5-year contracts.

At the time, Beacon wrote:

“Now is the time to shift our investment from travel staff to our own local RN’s who are loyal to both Beacon and our community.”

However, with last week’s announcement, the Beacon employee who spoke to WNDU off-camera said:

“Beacon Health System has now charged nurses with an obstacle we have proven to solve time and time again - do more with less. However, this time it will be under the pressure of somehow surviving a $26,000 annual salary cut in my household.”

In a statement to WNDU, Beacon Health System wrote:

“Beacon Health System is facing the same financial and operational challenges as many other health systems in our region and across the country. We have been working diligently to improve efficiencies and find ways to reduce operating costs and have taken the following measures:

  • We implemented a temporary targeted hiring freeze to help us counter the impact of the healthcare climate.
  • We evaluated the pay rates for certain clinical roles that were elevated significantly above market average pay during the pandemic to help retain and attract staff to serve our community. We determined we cannot continue to pay those elevated rates and have notified and are meeting one-on-one with the affected clinicians. We are committed to staying competitive and ahead of market average pay for these clinical roles.
  • Due to low patient volumes and the need to redirect resources to other healthcare offerings, two Beacon Medical Group services will be impacted. Beacon Medical Group Edwardsburg will be closing on May 30 and Beacon Medical Group Pediatric Endocrinology services will end on July 2. We are working with all of our patients to ensure their continued care with other providers.

We are making these adjustments so our focus can remain on delivering outstanding care, inspiring health, and connecting with heart in the communities we serve for well into the future.

The pay cuts begin on the pay period starting on May 21.