State funding cuts weigh heavily on AMC

To offset those lost sources of revenue due to state taxation and budget cuts, AMC has been forced to hold pay increases for non-union employees to a lower percentage increase than in previous years. The same holds true for management positions and executives.

Riccio says that policy is consistent with the Consumer Pricing Index, but unfortunately does not reflect most other cost of living increases. All current union contracts are being honored.

To avoid cutting programming and services, Riccio says department managers sat down and looked at all costs associated with operating AMC.

"Everything was on the table," he said. "We all realized the situation and the shortcomings we had to make up."

"Obviously health care cannot afford to take any more hits, and that is why we are where we are today in terms of advocacy and explaining to the public what we've had to endure," Riccio said.

Department managers and employees alike are paying close attention to overtime to help keep operating costs at a minimum. Vendor contracts have also been renegotiated and in some cases have resulted in significant savings.

But due to nursing and physicians shortages that have hit especially hard in the North Country, AMC cannot cut recruitment costs, Riccio said.

"The value to AMC and to the community is immeasurable," he said. "We need to keep attracting talented staff to continue serving the community."

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