My sister Andrea is a veterinary technician who works in a small animal hospital. Business at the hospital has been weak the last few years so her hours have been cut, putting her in a precarious position. When she first started at the hospital she worked about 38 hours per week, but when things slowed down last year, they reduced that to 35. Now she is only working 32 hours. That’s like getting a 16% pay cut.
She likes working at this hospital since it is only 2 miles from where she lives, she can bring her dog to work and she is one of only two employees to have health care. She took a bit of a pay cut to work with a doctor she likes, closer to home and for the guarantee of healthcare coverage.
This year she has to pay a premium for the first time in 25+ years. The doctor told my sister how much she’d be contributing to the cost and let Andrea decide on healthcare plan. Andrea had to balance between higher premiums with lower deductibles or lower premiums with higher deductibles. My sister chose based on the fact she has had some health issues in the past which might require follow up.
My sister is not happy about her reduced hours. As a woman who lives on the salary of a vet tech, in her own house with her pets, she lives pretty frugally. She knows that if she looks elsewhere she will be driving further and may not get health care or more hours or get along with the people who work there. For now she’s taking the chance business will pick up and she’ll be able to get back to working more. She’s in a precarious position with no good answers.