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MUSC Rumor Mill separates fact from fiction

Second shift
Is there any way to have more buses come by the Hagood lot for people who come into work at 3 p.m? Can anything be done to help the evening shift employees?
Answer: Parking Management is working with Clinical Services Management to develop a parking plan to help this group.

Is it true that employee parking locations are at times provided based on who the employee is? It has been observed that while some wait years for parking, it is odd that new department heads and some other staff find their way into choice garages immediately.
Answer: MUSC parking policy, approved by the university administration, provides that individuals who are no more than two reports away from a vice president or college dean are eligible for a parking assignment. A limited number of parking assignments are made on the basis of this policy.

Payroll deduction
Is it true we will finally have the ability soon to use our badge to pay for pharmacy purchases? It was so great to hear this!
Answer: Our goal is to make this available as soon as practical in fiscal year 2009.

Pay rate
I have heard that when you are hired as a patient care technician everyone gets paid at the same rate even if you are a certified nursing assistant. Why are  some patient care technicians who are new employees getting paid more that others?
Answer: Applicable work experience and education are considered when determining hourly rate of pay. If additional information or clarification is needed, see your manager or contact Rosie V. Smith or Lynn Campbell of the Medical Center Human Resources Office.

Coverage for gastric bypass
Is there any chance that one of our health care plans here at MUSC will cover gastric bypass or LAPBAND surgery anytime in the near future?
Answer: There are no plans to add this benefit and it is unlikely that the state will add this benefit in the near future given current State budget constraints.

Priority patient seating in cafeteria
Is there a policy for giving patients and visitors priority seating in the cafeteria? On a rainy day last week two employees were reluctant to let a patient family with a sick baby have the booth they were planning to sit at.
Answer: It’s difficult to have policies that list in detail every behavior that would be expected. Our Standards of Behavior policy does not explicitly cover “giving up a booth in the cafeteria for patients and guests” but it would be expected that common courtesy and good judgment would be used by our employees.

Daycare services
Whatever happened to MUSC’s plans for having daycare services on campus for employees?
Answer: In April 2007, MUSC initiated a pilot employer provided daycare at the Church of Holy Communion. The center is named the MUSC Child Development Preschool and is operated under contract with TodayCare Children’s Center LLC. See for details regarding enrollment, waitlist procedures, and contact information. The director, Kim Hovren, will be glad to give tours on request. Contact her at 805-8133.

Although our unit is part of the medical center, we are in another building a couple of blocks away. There is no cafeteria or snack bar in our building and our microwave is not working. When we asked about purchasing another one, we were told that medical center funds could not be used and we would have to take up a collection to purchase one. Is this true?
Answer: It would appear that the circumstances you describe would allow the staff in your area, as an exception to the general policy, to be able to purchase a microwave oven. Call the manager of purchasing services at 792-2002 to get clarification as it pertains to your particular work site.

The parking situation has gotten to be ridiculous, and I hear many people are considering working at other hospitals because of this. Instead of only needing 10-15 minutes extra to get into Hagood and take the bus, it is now taking 20-30 minutes. Are there any plans to fix the situation? Why is there not a parking garage on the G lot?
Answer: Hospital administration and the Office of Parking Management are aware of the parking challenges that employees are facing and are working collaboratively to find potential relief. Please note that after graduation, when MUSC students leave for the summer, more spaces will be available in the Hagood system, which will help through the summer months. Additionally, the opening of the Bee Street garage is scheduled for the fall. Once opened, this 1,500 space garage will provide much needed relief throughout the MUSC parking system. Building a garage on G-lot is not an option.

Merit pay raises
I was told that there is no way to know what my merit raise will be for an evaluation that was done in March. I have heard other rumors that the 'merit' raises will be based on the outcome of patient satisfaction surveys.
Answer: Funds for merit increases to be paid in January 2009 are determined during the budget preparation process for the next business year that begins July 1 2008. The budget for next year is being worked on and should be finalized in late May or early June. For this reason there is no way to know exactly what the percent increase will be in January. However, this information will be available and shared with staff as soon as the budget is approved. The other rumor sounds incomplete or distorted. The planning for a revised employee evaluation process is ongoing and not yet clearly defined.

Free to ride CARTA Express
I have heard a rumor, that as of July, we will be able to ride Carta Express for free with our employee badge, and will not have to buy a bus pass.
Answer: An official announcement will be made to the campus soon outlining the details of this change, but the answer to your inquiry is yes. Effective July 1 the MUSC ID badge will serve as your pass to ride CARTA Express. Employees will not have to pay any additional fee or administrative charge. The entire cost will be subsidized by the university and hospital.

Rumor has it that because MUSC only receives 6.5 percent of its overall budget from the state, the idea that we can only afford a 1 percent  (up to 3 percent with the match) annual increase is nonsense.   
Answer: The General Assembly of South Carolina is responsible for establishing cost of living adjustments (COLA) for state employees, if any, in any given year. Regardless the amount of money it receives from the state, MUSC is a state supported institution and cannot set COLA increases beyond what the General Assembly authorizes. The latest information from Columbia is that state employees will receive a 1 percent  COLA this year. This is subject to change until the final appropriations bill is signed into law. Separate from the COLA, the executive leadership of MUSC has committed to providing performance increases this year and is working on the specifics through which these awards can be made. Additional information regarding these pay increases will be distributed to the campus community within the next few weeks.
Reproduced from

Friday, May 9, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.