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MUSC Rumor Mill separates fact from fiction

I have heard that the Medical University Hospital Authority is under a “de facto” hiring freeze. Is there any truth to this?
Answer: This is not true. For employment opportunities, visit The medical center is in a hiring slow-down period. During the past six to eight months, the medical center work force has grown by more than 500 employees. The intent now is to balance staffing with patient care needs and to get the costs under control. During this hiring slow down, strong justification is needed to post and fill positions. Patient care will not be compromised.

10-10 shift
What about the people who work 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. parking?
Answer: Employees who work outside the regular shifts should contact Parking Management to discuss their particular circumstances.

Overtime—a thing of the past?
Is it true that MUSC is frowning upon overtime? I heard that because of ART opening, managers are limiting the amount, if any, employees work.
Answer: Overtime should be monitored at all times. It should only be approved to cover legitimate staffing needs. For additional information, refer to HR Policy #15-Compensation, or contact Lynn Campbell, employment and compensation manager at 792-1684.

Cafeteria, nutritional information
Why is it so hard to find information about the cafeteria online? I am trying to find out the fat and calorie content of one of their items, but there is no information online.   Answer: The site lists all retail operations and its operating hours. It lists the nutritional analysis of the majority of the food sold at the individual serving stations. In addition, Mary Basel,  the clinical nutrition manager’s name and phone is listed. The retail manager’s contact information is listed under the comment section.

Manager bonuses
I heard that managers receive bonuses if they meet or are below budget. Is this true?
Answer: This is not true. However, managers’ merit/performance pay is directly aligned with achievement of MUSC's pillar-based goals including the financial goals.

Smoking policy
Are you allowed to walk on campus and smoke?
Answer: The MUSC smoking policy limits smoking to designated areas only. Smokers walking to or from work are not exempted from the policy. Managers and supervisors should remind employees of the smoking limitations. MUSC public safety officers are charged with assisting in the enforcement of the policy. When these officers see individuals smoking in violation of the policy, they will direct individuals to the nearest designated smoking shelter.

Smoke-free campus
This is more of a question than a rumor. Roper made its entire facility smoke-free effective February 2007. Will MUSC ever try to do the same campuswide? The  smoking booths that are installed on campus are a disgrace. The area around these booths is covered in cigarette butts.
Answer: MUSC has been designated as a smoke-free campus. However, there is no state or local law that allows MUSC to ban people from smoking out of doors. Until such a law is passed that would provide MUSC with the ability to enforce a campuswide ban on smoking, the best MUSC can do is to establish the policy that is in effect which limits the areas where individuals smoke on campus to the designated smoking shelters. The MUSC Facilities and Engineering Grounds keeping crew will be asked to increase efforts to keep these smoking areas as clean as possible.

Handicapped parking
It seems as if all the parking spots, both metered and non-metered in the vicinity of MUSC, are constantly filled with cars with handicapped tags. I have heard that many MUSC employees get these tags from their doctors and are able to avoid the parking fees here at MUSC. This seems unethical and I am not sure these are the kind of people we want working at MUSC. Why can’t there be more done to prevent this abuse of the system?
Answer: The on-street metered and non-metered parking spaces found in the vicinity of MUSC are the responsibility of the City of Charleston’s Parking Enforcement unit. Recently, a new director of this unit was hired, and perhaps in response to the Post and Courier publicity about the illegal parking, the city is taking a more aggressive enforcement response to on- street parking. Specifically, tickets are being issued to all those who park for extended periods of time in these spaces. If the individual parking in the space has a valid handicap hang tag or can justify parking in the space for other acceptable reasons, then the ticket will be forgiven. If no valid reason exists, the ticket will remain in force. If an individual appeals a ticket and is not the individual to whom the handicap hang tag was issued, then the hang tag will be confiscated and additional fines will be levied. This more aggressive ticketing approach should help resolve the illegal parking that is occurring around MUSC.

I’ve heard the retirement program will be eliminated for all new hires effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Answer: MUHA has not been informed officially or unofficially that the “retirement program” will be going away for new employees hired after Jan. 1, 2009.  Recent legislative changes to the pension plan have already been implemented to ensure its continued long-term good health.

New graphic on MUSC home page
I  observed a green bar at the top of the MUSC home page, “No news is good news.” What is this about? A new hurricane message site or an Excellence message bar?
Answer: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You are referring to a message where MUSC emergency alerts will show if there are any. Absent any alerts there is a default message. As a result of your question and comments, the message has been changed to: “No MUSC Alerts,” which more appropriately reflects the message MUSC wants to communicate.

I have heard that Chick-fil-A might be extending its hours to 9 p.m. so the night shift staff can get food after change of shift. 
Answer: There are no plans to extend Chick-fil-A hours beyond 7 p.m. Both A la Carte Pizza and Subway offer later dining hours.

Is it true that only MUHA employees will get the advantage of having their parking fees cut in half in October?
Answer: It is true the medical center has made funding arrangements to enable a lower parking fee for medical center employees. The decision to fund the fee adjustment for medical center employees was to a great degree based on the highly competitive nature of the local health care market and our need to strike a good balance on benefits provided. While the medical center does not offer the generous state leave plan, it is believed that a parking rate adjustment for medical center employees can help with progress toward our goal to decrease turnover, improve quality of care by maintaining experienced staff, and control costs associated with recruitment and training of new hires.

Broadcast messages
More a comment, rather than a rumor. I actually read the broadcast messages when they come out. Why then, on July 19, is there something listed that happened July 18.
Answer: The broadcast e-mail was submitted on July 16 at 4:23 p.m. The broadcast system is programmed with a 4 p.m. deadline for next day broadcast. Anything received after 4 p.m. will be broadcast after two working days (refer to the policy link on the broadcast page which states, “Messages must be received by 4 p.m. to be included in the next day’s broadcast e-mail message; that is, any message received after 4 p.m. will be broadcast after two working days. The sooner the messages are submitted, the sooner they will be on the web site.” ).

Ashley-Rutledge Parking Garage
I have heard that employees that are not in the MUSC parking system go to the Hagood parking lot before 8 a.m. or after pretending to park just to get a pass to park in the Ashley-Rutledge Parking Garage for free. I don’t think this is fair especially for the employees who are in the parking system. Most of those employees are the same ones parking in the garage daily because they refuse to ride the MUSC bus. Is they a way that parking management to issue the passes out at random? 
Answer: When the Hagood parking system reaches capacity, individuals receiving day passes for alternate locations on campus must be registered to park in the Hagood system have a Hagood hang tag. MUSC public safety officers stationed at the Hagood lot confirm that the Hagood system has reached capacity, and the individual to whom a day pass is being offered has a legitimate Hagood hang tag.

OR closing
Please answer the question about the operating room closing for two weeks and the employees having to use their paid time off.
Answer: Options have been discussed with all of the staff. The final details will be communicated once the surgical services leaders know the final count of operating rooms that will be able to remain open.

Security guards
I am amazed at the amount of security guards on staff at ART. I always see two or three at a time in a group at ART, but at the main hospital I just do not see them much at all. Why do we have so many at ART?
Answer: There are generally five officers assigned to each shift working at ART. An officer is assigned to the entrance, parking garage security desk, shift leader/patrol, and hospital patrol officer. The main hospital is comparably staffed, but covers clinical sciences, Rutledge Tower, Institute of Psychiatry, 135 Cannon, north tower, Children’s Hospital, emergency departments and main hospital. You might have observed officers in training and this does increase visibility of staffing. Most urgent security responses require at least two officers, yet security must be maintained at all areas. 

No deductions on last pay check?
Is it true that there is no insurance deductions on the last and third check for July?
Answer: Yes, this is correct. The insurance deductions are taken from the first two paychecks of the month. So, if there are three paychecks in a month the third check will not have any insurance deductions.

Cafe at Hollings Cancer Center
The new cafe at Hollings Cancer Center will be here soon. It will be the same owner who runs Blend across the street from the main hospital. If it is true will they do payroll deduction for food purchases?
Answer: This is operated by an outside vendor; therefore payroll deductions will not be available.

Cafeteria renovation in the main hospital
I heard from one of the cafeteria employees in the main hospital that renovations were to take place in July there. I know the carpets were replaced, but isn’t it going to be reconfigured somehow?
Answer: The renovation plans for the cafeteria have been designed and are now being evaluated from a financial standpoint. More details will follow once this process is completed.

Shift differential
I heard that if you clock out before 7:23, you do not get shift differentials?
Answer: Employees must work at least four hours into the shift to receive the shift differential. Exclusions to this apply when an employee is on-call and required to return to work during an off shift. Refer to the Human Resources Compensation Policy 15. For additional information, contact Lynn Campbell, manager of employment and compensation, 792-1684 or e-mail   

Friday, Aug. 1, 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.