The healthcare traveling industry evolved throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the industry continues to normalize, Covid funding and grants available to hospitals are no longer in effect to aid in staffing demands. As a result, pay cuts have increased over the last few months. Although, this is not normal and is a result of the temporarily inflated crisis rates that were placed during Covid-19. Rest assured that even though rates continue to level, many are still well above pre-Covid rates!
We know how shocking (and frustrating) it can be to have your rate cut while you are on assignment! While your options to decline or accept the revised pay seems like a simple decision, it can be difficult to know what is best for you long-term. To help you decide what’s best, we’ve outlined what to do, or consider, if your pay gets cut while you’re working on a travel assignment.
What do I do if I receive a pay decrease while on assignment?
Contact Your Account Manager
When determining to accept or decline a new pay rate, use your resources! Now is the time to lean on your Account Manager to discuss your options, figure out what is most important to you, evaluate all opportunities, and ultimately just be there for you. While you are in the decision process be sure to ask your Account Manager what the likelihood of getting another contract with a higher rate would be, which should help you determine if starting over at a new facility is worth it for you. Remember that your Account Manager is here to make sure that you are satisfied with your assignments and if not to guide you in the right direction.
Ask Questions/Know the Facts
As soon as you are notified that your rate has been cut, ask your LRS Healthcare Account Manager the following questions to make sure you have the information needed in order to accept or decline the new rate.
- What is the standard rate for this position (before Covid)
- When does the rate change go into effect?
- How long do I have to decide?
- What are other jobs in the area paying? Is this a fair rate or below average?
Weigh the Pros and Cons:
- Are there other travel jobs with higher pay rates or is the new rate industry standard as the market normalizes?
- How many weeks do you have left?
- How much will the cut affect your overall expenses for that assignment?
- How likely it is to get another contract in two weeks at a higher rate with the licensing you currently have?
- Ask yourself how much you like the current job/facility/coworkers/etc.
- If you decline, could it negatively impact your career in any way?
It is extremely important to consider all factors at this point. Determine what the financial impact will be, find out if there are open jobs with higher rates, and simply consider how much you like the overall job and environment you are currently in. Then take some time to ask yourself if the rate is acceptable without significantly affecting your life, or if it is worth starting the process over.
Final Thoughts as You Make Your Decision
Staffing Agencies contract with healthcare facilities to provide support through traveling healthcare professionals like you. These agreements are separate from your contract with your agency, but the terms of these agreements control the amount a facility will pay for your services. What that means is that, when determining pay, the facilities hold a lot of the power.
If a facility decides to lower its rates, the staffing agency will contact the travelers they have placed there about the change and available options.
At this point, it is up to you which direction you decide to go—whether to accept the reduced pay rate or decline the rate and end your contract. If you agree to the reduced pay, you will likely be required to sign an amendment to your current contract, or to sign an entirely new agreement outlining the new pay rate. If you choose to decline the reduced pay and end your assignment, you will need to consider the termination provisions of your contract. Be sure to lean on your Account Manager for guidance and information – they are here to help you!
It is important to keep in mind that although rates are starting to normalize, many healthcare traveler pay rates are still above pre-Covid pay rates. Even, if your pay gets changed or an assignment gets canceled early, do not be discouraged. There will always be another contract and adventure waiting for you!