By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Almost two years to the date of having union representation at the Pondera Medical Center (PMC), it has become a thing of the past.
On June 26, 2008 in a close vote of 28-26, for the first time, a portion of the Pondera Medical Center was going to be represented by a union. In part it affected certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, cooks, laundry aide’s, janitors and ward clerks.
Mark Jones, who was the Director of Operations at the time, now the CEO, commented, “This was our first union contract and we had many items to discuss and agree to. It was going to be a time consuming process.”
He noted that the hospital expended over $100,000 in legal fees, “That’s a lot of money and didn’t include salaries for meetings and negotiations.”
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
Bob Vogel from the Montana School Board Association, MTSBA, attended the December school board meeting and addressed the matter of finding and hiring a new superintendent for the Conrad School district.
Vogel’s suggestions included forming a timeline, stating that it takes approximately 10-14 weeks to find a replacement, advertising, interviewing and legal obligations, such as forming a contract.
Vogel and the MTSBA offer services to help schools in Montana with finding a superintendent. These services range from $2,500 to $5,500 for our size of district. It will be voted upon at the January meeting if the board will use MTSBA’s services in finding a replacement for Lynn Utterback.
Lisa Hanson, Director of Business Development/ Marketing and Diagnostic Services has recently completed training to be the HMK champion for PMC.
Healthy Montana Kids is a program passed by the Montana voters 2008 General Election.
The program went into effect Dec. 31 2009. The goal of passing this initative was to provide healthcare coverage for every uninsured Montana child 19 years of age and under.
HMK is now an umbrella for the programs formerly known as CHIP and Children’s Medicaid. HMK is managed by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and underwritten by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana.