The Michigan Nurses Association is calling for Dickinson County Healthcare System CEO John Schon to resign, following the hospital’s move to file for bankruptcy. MNA President Susan Bequist says it’s not right that Schon gets a $1.3 million pension payout while hospital employees—quoting now—“face huge uncertainty amid bankruptcy.” And Bequist says that if Schon does not resign, the Dickinson County Healthcare Board should terminate fire him. If the Board fails to fire him, she says, the Dickinson County Board should do so.
“It’s not right that John Schon gets a $1.3 million pension payout while the rest of us face huge uncertainty amid bankruptcy,” said Susan Berquist, RN, who works in the Emergency Department and is the president of the MNA union at the hospital. “Under his leadership, the hospital was driven into such a bad financial position that our whole region’s economy is at risk. As our community struggles to move forward, we all deserve accountability and transparency – values that John Schon clearly does not share. It’s past time for him to go.”
Nurses say that “very little information has been made public regarding why the hospital is in such bad financial shape. Furthermore, the hospital communicated very little with the unions regarding the potential sale – including possible pitfalls they may all have been able to work together to help prevent.”
Nurses are also concerned by his $271,000-a-year salary, and other costs that the hospital covers such as Schon’s benefits, part of his vehicle costs, and part of his country club membership.
“Everyone is outraged that the CEO who led us into this mess doesn’t have to answer for it, and could actually come through unscathed,” said Shirley Dishaw-Beck, RN, a cardiac and pulmonary rehab nurse and secretary of the MNA union at the hospital. “We are all dedicated employees who want the best for our hospital and our patients, and no one has faith in a leader who won’t take responsibility and won’t share information.”