Not healthy

  The nurses at Fletcher Allen are up-in-arms over administrative “golden parachutes.”   The extensive severance packages and executive salaries of the administration while technicians, nurses and other workers are experiencing a pay freeze has led to frustrated members of the Fletcher Allen Health Care community.   “Top executives receive increases of 73 percent in one year, and the administration demands pay freezes from us,” said Karen Magnant, Flether Allen Health Care ophthalmology technician.   “The message from interim CEO Dr. Brumsted is clear; belt tightening for people on the front lines and bonuses for those on boards,” Magnant said.   The debate was sparked over a rumored severance package for CEO Melinda Estes, who left Fletcher Allen for a top position at Saitn Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, according to VTDigger.org.   Mari Cordes, a register nurse at Fletcher Allen, said she questioned the amount of money and benefits awarded to Estes.   “Was it $3 million? $5 million? We don’t know,” she said in a press release.   Mike Noble of the marketing and communications department at Fletcher Allen denied the rumor of Estes’ severance package.   “Dr. Estes received no money in a severance package – $0,” he said.   Although this “golden parachute” did not exist, Cordes brought attention more broadly to compensation distribution and respect deserved among hospital workers.   “The main point of worker upset [is] that huge amounts of money is directed toward top heavy compensation for administration,” Cordes said. “[This] leaves a really bad taste in working family’s mouths, when they are the ones that provide the high quality services that give our institutions a good name.”   Cordes urged Fletcher Allen executives to treat its workers equally and to focus their energy on the quality of services instead of raises and pay restrictions.    “Let’s stop wasting time and money, and get back to using hospital resources for patient care, not fighting to make sure 300 hard working staff take a pay freeze next year,” Cordes said.