How many of us have heard a company executive say that they have to make "difficult" cuts and changes in order to stay afloat? Funny how none of the executives are ever really included in the cuts. When they are let go, they get "golden parachutes."
Today, CEOs make 343 times more than the average worker. In 1980, it was only 42 times more. So, when we hear executives talk about cuts, especially to a vital institution like Jackson Hospital, be wary... very wary. But since we're on the topic, let's examine what's happening at Jackson. Despite the fact that the hospital includes some of the best ranked medical institutions in the country, over 1,100 hard working medical professionals are expected to be put out into the street mid April. Talk about no good deed going unpunished.
For all the talk of "right-sizing" Jackson, its executives have failed to size up their own salaries. Lucky for them, 1Miami will do it for them. If you look at the list of its 31 top executives (check this out), there seems to be a lot to downsize. For starters, there is only one person on the list whose total executive compensation is under $150,000. However, there are five executives that make more than half a million dollars in salary and executive compensation per year. Perhaps most insulting is CEO Carlos Migoya's package. His total compensation totals a whopping $850K/year. But hold up -- that's not all! Included in that compensation is a $12,000/year car allowance and a $46,000/year expense account! What makes Mr. Migoya even more despicable is the fact that he's not even a healthcare professional. He's a banker!
To put this in perspective, imagine if Carlos Migoya decided to forgo his car allowance and expense account. He could probably save the job of at least one nurse or a couple of nurse aides. Instead of taking the time to make Jackson more efficient by using a scalpel where its needed to stop the bleeding, Migoya has opted to take a lumberjack's approach and hack away by laying off the people whose very jobs it is to literally stop the bleeding as well as deliver babies and take care of accident victims -- all tasks that are not too important to all of us, right?
What's worse, is our illustrious Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners' failure to act. Our mayor, Carlos Gimenez, says all the right things, but neither he nor the BOCC have the intestinal fortitude to put Migoya, who is behaving more like a hospital slumlord rather than a hospital administrator, in his place. Perhaps they should just consider putting him on the proverbial chopping block and save a few more employees from hitting South Florida's already saturated unemployment market. But I'm probably dreaming, since all we get from our county politicians are rip-off stadium deals and cuts to vital programs and services that hard-working families depend on now more than ever. Dreaming, indeed, especially considering the fact that Mayor Gimenez is the same person that told us he had to make hard decisions to cut public jobs, yet hired four deputy mayors who make more than $1 million combined per year.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing the line "we all have to sacrifice," while some of the super rich are still lining their pockets. What they really mean is we're the ones who will be left "holding the bag." This November, if our politicians don't stick up for working people, let's leave the voting booth saying... "We are sorry, times are tough and we just had to make some difficult changes."