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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 29, 2003

UI Hospitals And Clinics Offers New Employment Option

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics leaders today announced a new employment option for certain staff members that offers greater flexibility and could enhance efforts to retain current staff and recruit staff who are in short supply, particularly nurses.

The plan allows staff to receive a higher rate of pay in lieu of most benefits. Eligible staff members in these positions who choose the new Scheduled Hourly Employment Option will receive a pay increase of $5 per hour (approximately $10,000 per year for a full time person). In exchange, participating staff will receive a modified benefit package including mandatory benefits such as retirement, but not voluntary benefits such as paid time off or insurances.

"We developed this plan in response to staff members who told us they felt this option is needed," said Diana Leventry, director of hospital human resources at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "This option may appeal to staff who are at various stages of their lives or careers, and who prefer to receive increased compensation instead of receiving our very generous, full benefits package."

Newly hired staff to the identified positions can elect either the Scheduled Hourly Employment Option when they begin their employment at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Current staff may choose to switch to the new option during annual open enrollment periods (October to November of each year).

UI Hospitals and Clinics entered into an agreement with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 199 to offer the Scheduled Hourly Employment Option to help address shortages of some categories of staff. The Scheduled Hourly Employment Option is initially being offered as a pilot program to staff covered by the contract agreement with SEIU.

Managers point out that the plan may prove to be an important tool for both recruiting new staff and retaining current staff because of the greater level of flexibility the program offers.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu