GMH board approves 25 percent work differential for additional staff

The exterior of Guam Memorial Hospital Authority in Tamuning. PNC file photo

The Guam Memorial Hospital board of trustees has approved a 25 percent working differential for employees certified or licensed in rehabilitation, radiology, dietary and special services.

This comes in the wake of earlier approvals for the GMH nursing, laboratory, and respiratory staff.

According to GMH, they’ve been having difficulties keeping staff members working in the hospital and happy in their environments because the staffers have been working really long hours with no relief. The differential is part of GMH’s efforts to sustain and retain existing employees and also get new ones to come in.

“We continue to lose staff to the private sector or off-island, or they’re actually going part-time, you know, and then doing full time somewhere else. Or they’re just completely burnt out. And, you know, they don’t want to do it anymore and they retire early,” Dr. Joleen Aguon, associate administrator for clinical services, said during the GMHA board meeting.

GMH administrator and CEO Lillian Perez-Posadas added that they decided on the working differential to give the GMH staffers a little bit of a bump in their salary.

“Because we are not able to change the wages right now because we will need to do a study. But at least you give them something, entice them so they will not leave us,” Perez-Posadas said.

According to GMH chief financial officer Yuka Hechanova, GMH can afford the differential because although the hospital is hiring people, it is also losing people at the same time.

“So it’s just been in and out. So this is not a significant amount. We just have to watch and monitor our payroll,” she said.

Dr. Aguon added that this latest differential probably won’t be the last.

“This is actually part two of maybe four parts of right-sizing the clinical services division. It’s taking some time because HR actually looks into all of them and goes through the Department of Labor statistics and looks at the national averages,” she said.