3 min read

Should base salary constantly go up? NYC hospitals think so, for key employees

Should base salary constantly go up? NYC hospitals think so, for key employees

A few notable NYC hospitals have done an awful job providing salary ranges in job descriptions (as required by law for over a year!). One way to "provide" a salary range is to make the range extremely wide (i.e. "200k to 800k").

Here are the worst offenders I found. As I looked at the graph, I wondered if I could dig more using the WCS Nonprofit Explorer. I found CEO salaries, revenues, and net profits that include the words million and billion.

And hello everyone from the Prudent Plastic Surgeon blog. I recently wrote a guest piece on NYC Salary Transparency over there!

Nonprofit Transparency

Nonprofits are required to file a Form 990 every year. As a result, their financials are disclosed and provided free to the public. Inside these forms include juicy tidbits like executive salaries, revenue, and much more.

But... nobody is looking.

Each hospital (excluding the V.A.) actually files as a nonprofit organization, so let's follow the money at:

  • Montefiore
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Mount Sinai
  • New York Presbyterian

CEO Compensation...

can wildly differ year by year. It can depend on company goals, revenue, and other internal incentives. The NYP CEO is one of the highest paid Nonprofit CEO's in the United States. He made a whooping $11 million in 2021.

CEO compensation as a whole can't really be criticized by looking at a form. However, the base salary (in green) is one aspect of the CEO's compensation that will most likely be paid out whether the organization has a good or bad year.

CEO base salary is a great baseline for salary trends. CEOs are more likely to be heavily incentivized through bonuses and "other reportable pay" to tie their success with the success of the entire organization. This rationale is how the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are headlined as taking a $1 base salary. They make their billions elsewhere.

From 2016 on, the average CEO salary increased year-over-year by 7.47%.

Okay, maybe CEOs shouldn't be picked on. How about every employee on all four hospitals' Form 990?

Average Salary Increase per Hospital

For executives, key officers, and highly paid employees

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Montefiore 3.1% 20.82% 0.5% 9.18% 15.01%
New York Pres 2.77% -1.3% 0.04% 3.52% 7.81% -5.35%
MSKCC 7.93% 8.36% 6.25% 0.97% 4.98% -2.8%
Mount Sanai 9.27% 11.26% 7.6% 15.47% -5.48% 6.33%
Average 6.66% 5.35% 8.68% 5.12% 4.12% 3.3%

From 2016 on, the average salary (for execs, key officers, and highly paid employees) increased year-over-year by 5.54%.

What's your salary progression?

How does your salary progression match up with these NYC hospitals? If you're like me, I usually hoped for a base salary increase every two years or so. Now that I see some data, I would negotiate for increased pay every year.

While looking at the data, these are the ideas that stood out:

  • These are highly paid employees, so their increase in base salary is at least 10k if not 30k+.
  • Base salary (on average) rises every year. Even during a global pandemic.
  • Hospitals most likely prefer multi-year contracts to skirt having negotiations every year.

Interested in a breakdown for your organization?

The White Coat Salary Form 990 tool can be used to find similar data like this for any nonprofit organization. If you'd like us to make a similar report for your organization, request it!

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