Peninsula Daily News, July 25, 2011

Rising costs, decreasing revenue and high personnel costs at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, WA  mean there is only one place left to cut -- employee benefits, Eric Lewis, CEO of the facility, said during his first State of the Hospital speech. To do that, the hospital needs to bring employee benefits closer to the market, he said.  "No one pays us more because we pay more in benefits," he said. The hospital administration and medical workers' union are in negotiations, Lewis said. Their proposals are far apart, and negotiators are not getting any closer to an agreement, he added.  The hospital wants to increase the employees' share of their healthcare coverage, cut the hospital's contribution to employee retirement from 10% to the industry standard of 7% and subcontract some services, he said.  Eight employees, many with young children in tow, pleaded with commissioners to intervene in the hospital administration's proposal to raise the cost of health care for health care workers.

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