veterans homes could see potential raises in the next fiscal budgett

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MEXICO - Similar to veterans homes across the nation, Missouri veterans homes are suffering from a shortage of staffing. 

"We need to stay competitive with our wages, our benefits and our RN incentives," Missouri Veterans Commission Communications Director Jamie Melchert said.

The Missouri Veterans Commission operates 7 veterans homes in the state. 

According to an article by the Columbia Missourian, with a staffing turnover rate of 80%, the Missouri Veterans Commission has asked lawmakers for $3 million in the next budget to pay for increases for more than 500 staffers.

Melchert said the Missouri Veterans Commission has so far completed differential increases, increasing salaries for working nights and weekends, as well as step increases, by maximizing salaries for those who have worked for the facility long-term. 

He said their plan is to look at things from the market perspective.

"If someone is starting out in a nursing position at a nursing home, we want to be competitive with their salaries, not necessarily higher, but we want to be competitive,” Melchert said. 

Melchert added the Certified Nursing Assistants are the front-line for giving primary health care to the veterans. 

The Missouri Veterans Commission has had trouble with staffing shortages more in the larger communities than in rural areas. 

"Last year, we paid over $1 million just to provide that staffing, and staffing is essential obviously," he said. "You can't just cut corners when it comes to health care."

According to data provided by the Mexico Veterans Home, the following positions received increases over the past year:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Dietary Staff
  • Laundry Staff
  • Housekeeping Staff
  • Administrative Staff
  • Restorative Staff

Still to this day, the following positions from the Mexico Veterans Home that have not received increases are:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Maintenance Staff