We are getting down to some of the real financial issues
If the state raises the pay for new staff @ CMHIP, do they need raise the pay for all staff?
There is a plan to fix the staff shortage at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo and a top priority is to get enough people hired so employees can at least have annual leave again.
It's outlined in a letter that Superintendent Ron Hale gave to employees on June 6 -- although Hale's resignation was announced Thursday as well.
Effective immediately, Kim Nordstrom, director of the state's mental health institutes, is serving as acting superintendent
Immediately after, Hale's letter on new personnel policies unveiled the mandatory overtime plan for the more than 600 patient-care staff of nurses and others who are having to plug the gaps.
Asked how long hospital staff can expect to work under those conditions, Nancy VanDeMark, director of behavioral health at DHS, said she hoped conditions would improve with more hiring.
"Making the staff more efficient and filling more positions should mean that overtime in the future wouldn't be mandatory," she said. "Certainly unfreezing annual leave is a top priority."
Hale and other administrators met with staff at CMHIP on Wednesday to explain the situation but couldn't give staff any prediction on when conditions would change.
"That left people feeling pretty frustrated," said one employee Wednesday evening.
Hale's fix-it plan detailed how the administration is reworking employee shifts and moving other staff to address shortages in key positions. One fault found by inspectors is some patients who require constant observation -- a 1:1 staffing ratio -- weren't getting it.
Other elements of the plan are:
A long-simmering problem of "salary compression" is under review. That's where a new hire is recruited by paying them more than longer-term workers. Many callers to The Chieftain resented that practice.
VanDeMark said raising salaries and hourly pay for all staff would require more money from the General Assembly.
State Sen. Leroy Garcia and state Rep. Daneya Esgar, both Pueblo Democrats, met with Hale and DHS staff at the hospital Monday. But Hale made no mention of resigning, Garcia said.
"But I don't want anyone to think that just replacing one person at CMHIP is going to fix the long-term problems we have faced there for some time," he said.
Hmmm. . . or OMG we can't believe this!
We know on our Orchid Facebook Page people are so done with the deeply ingrained Structural problems that may get resolved for awhile, but ultimately persist for decades.
Some of our Facebook Friends just want to see CMHIP de-funded and start over.:
State -- We're Sorry BUT YOU DON'T HAVE A VIABLE PLAN TO "FIX THIS" IF YOU DON'T BRING THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY INTO THE PROCESS.