Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBS4) – More than 920 Jackson Memorial Hospital employees could be out of a job by the end of the month. The hospital gave out pink slips last week and some employees argue the affects are already apparent.
“At least in Jackson it’s getting everybody’s morale down,” said Dr. Morad Askari, a plastic surgeon. “It is in some regards definitely affecting patient care.”
That is a concern hospital spokesman Ed O’Dell is trying to dispel.
“Our medical services will not be impacted,” said O’Dell. “The quality of our care, we would not compromise that.”
O’Dell said the patient volume has been declining steadily over the past few years and the cutbacks are an effort to operate more efficiently.
JMH believes it will save nearly $70 million by cutting a total of 1115 positions, some of them currently vacant, and adding in 350 part-time jobs.
“We are offering them the opportunity to come back in as part-time,” said O’Dell. “They have first choice and those people are coming to our meeting and they are signing up for those jobs.”
But union officials argue the hospital doesn’t need to get rid of as many of its full-time positions as proposed.
Martha Baker, RN and President of the SEIU Local 1991, said she is currently in talks with hospital administrators trying to salvage more of the full-time positions.
“Part-time employees come and they don’t have anything invested in to the hospital and what our mission is and what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Dr. Askari.
Most of the employees who have been laid off will work up until April 27th. After that date staff levels will have decreased by ten percent, according to JMH.