Denver Health Executives Agree To Pay Cut After Criticism Over Bonuses

Denver Health. April 1, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Denver Health. April 1, 2020.

Members of Denver Health's leadership group say they will reduce their salaries by 20 percent effective immediately.

The cuts will help mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Colorado's largest safety-net hospital, according to a statement by the organization's board of directors.

They also come after a report by CBS Denver revealing those same executives received bonuses of up to $230,000 just a week after front-line workers were told to reduce their hours and take unpaid leave. That caused outrage among workers and others.

The new statement by Denver Health's board said they acknowledged the "anger, frustration and pain" created by the bonuses.

"We know everyone on the front line is working hard, in an incredibly stressful time, taking care of patients while taking risks," the statement said. "We regret the division this situation has created but appreciate the willingness of our staff to speak up and share their concerns."

The board said it would revisit the "philosophy and approach" of the bonus system, which it said was designed to attract and retain top talent.

Some of the hospital's workers announced this week that they are trying to unionize.