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  • Yaw Akuffo-Anoff

Maine Legislators Look to Address Income Disparity in the Healthcare Sector

In Maine, our hard working healthcare workers play a critical role in ensuring that our families and communities remain healthy and safe. During the toughest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of these Mainers stepped up to curb the spread of the virus.

The bulk of these health care practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) and nursing assistants, who make up roughly half of the healthcare occupation in Maine hospitals. Despite their essential role in the healthcare sector, many are often forced to go toe-to-toe with hospital executives in order to prove their worth.

Reports indicate that in recent years, Maine hospitals have paid their chief executives more than the national average. Now, lawmakers seek to address this disparity in compensation.

Senator Tipping of Penobscot recently introduced LD 1321: An Act to Address Income Disparity in Health Care by Limiting the Compensation of Hospital Executives. The bill would essentially limit the total annual compensation for an executive at a hospital to no more than five times the median compensation of a full-time registered professional nurse at that hospital.

Proponents of the bill say that funds from excess compensation to chief executives are needed elsewhere to improve conditions for nurses and other hospital staff.

All working people deserve fair compensation and working conditions, including those who work everyday to keep Mainers healthy. LD 1321 would lessen the income gap in Maine hospitals and strengthen the healthcare sector in the process. Mainers For Working Families looks forward to seeing the passage of this bill.

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