Moon Township, PA, (July 2, 2013) -
Heritage Valley and the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania union, which represents the nurses at Heritage Valley Beaver, settled on a 2-year contract with the Health System. The tentative labor agreement was reached late Friday, June 28 and ratified on Monday, July 1.
“We’re very pleased that the Health System and the union were able to work out agreeable terms that will benefit both parties,” said Bruce Edwards, vice president, Human Resources, Heritage Valley Health System. “We were able to work through the challenges of the current health care environment to develop a contract to ensure access to the highest level of care for Beaver County and the surrounding communities.”
Included in the contract is a new Pay-for-Value Compensation Plan that offers income incentives for nurses if certain customer service measures are met. The incentive payment would be paid on a quarterly basis and is not included in the base pay. The innovative payment-to-value model was an essential element of the ratified contract.
“The move toward the pay-for-value plan stems from the significant changes to hospital payments derived from the Affordable Care Act,” added Mr. Edwards. “Heritage Valley has always been focused on improving the quality of care for our patients; this new incentive plan rewards the nurses for achieving measurable outcomes associated with customer service.”
In addition, the Heritage Valley Beaver represented nurses agreed to a one-year wage freeze in the first year of the contract and a 1% adjustment in the second year. The entire health care industry has experienced challenges in adjusting to new payment methods imposed by the Affordable Care Act as well as declining volumes and regional competition.
As a matter of practice, Heritage Valley continues to provide market-based wage and benefit programs to all of its employees including the nurses. “Based on a review of the market, the nursing wage scale is very competitive. The average nursing pay rate at Heritage Valley Beaver ranges from 8% to 14% above the market,” Edwards indicated.