MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Twenty-four hours after news first broke that Jackson Health System was laying off 920 people, many of those impacted by the firings are not going to go quietly.

“This is unsafe and over my dead body will you tell my nurses to take unsafe staffing levels,” said Martha Baker of SEIU 1991. “75% of hospitals in the country staff better than Jackson. We are the 25th percentile. And now Mr. Migoya wants to gouge deeper.”

Jackson Health System chief executive officer Carlos Migoya announced Tuesday a total of 920 people will be laid off and that layoff notices will go out as early as April 6. In addition, 195 positions will simply be eliminated from the books, or as Jackson and businesses are trying to spin it today, “right-sizing.”

In all, 1,115 positions will be either laid off or eliminated, which represents 10 percent of Jackson’s workforce. The cuts include 593 nurses, 195 vacant positions, 31 medical professionals and 14 doctors.

“The bottom line is if you don’t have all the patients there than you don’t need all of the people there,” said Jackson spokesman Ed O’Dell.

Jackson said the cuts are similar to what is happening across the country. But, O’Dell told CBS4’s David Sutta the hospital census is down seven percent since October. But, the reason for the empty beds isn’t that everyone is healthy.

“They are delaying going in for actually elective surgery because they don’t want to spend the hard earned cash,” O’Dell said. “The economy has had a tremendous effect on healthcare.”

Baker said Jackson is playing a dangerous game with patient care.

“When you want to go to a one to seven nurse ratio, one to six nurse ratio, when you know the evidence is that hurts patients lives, we can’t tolerate it,” Baker said. “And if your motive is money, what else do we have to give?”

Baker pointed out the layoffs comes as Jackson employees are already facing $100 million in pay cuts and eight furlough days.

“It’s got nothing to do with quality care. It’s got nothing to do with patients,” Baker said. “He [Migoya] doesn’t care who lives or dies. This is about ‘how do I get to the bottom line. I need to make this place sustainable.’”

O’Dell said that is not true and that part-time help will help fill the gaps from the layoffs.

“No matter what, our healthcare, we are keeping our staff where our healthcare is not going to suffer,” O’Dell said. “I can make that assurance because I know that people are going to be on the floors.”

Comments (7)
  1. Miamilife says:

    Isn’t Ms.Baker the Union offiicial that wouldn’t negotiate flexible schedules for her members in order to address the operational and financial issues that Jackson has been dealing with? She got them less PTO and a pay reduction but the FT employee numbers obviously didn’t give the hospital enough flexibility to meet changing demand. Migoya just did what he did in response to a lack a real world view by Ms. Baker of what are the realities of todays healthcare providers. Looks to me like Migoya is trying to stop a sinking ship and these people are only willing to help the way THEY want to help without looking at what is the best for all in the long run.

    1. Maria Calderon says:

      Miamilife, is very easy to criticized when u are not a nurse at JMH. WE r already short satff as it is and what is going to happen is that all the new nurseswill leave , the new generation they will not take nonsense. There is already a nursing shortage.. If u ever need to come to jackson u will recieved excellent care from those nurses that u dislike so much and do not deserve to get decent pay.

      1. r says:

        unfortunately most people who have decent insurance will not be going to Jackson and Jackson gets way too many uninsured people which is why this is happening also. I do not see this changing anytime soon.

      2. Miamilife says:

        My issue is certainly not with the nurses at Jackson who I personally know are dedicated and go way beyond the call of duty under very stressful times. My comments are meant for the union officials who don’t seem to understand that businesses, even hospitals change. Labor needs to work with management to look look beyond the traditional three issues of seniority, hourly wages and more benefits because there are a lot of hard choices to be made. Out of the box solutions need to be seriously considered since usually the long term viabililty of the hospital in addition to the availability of all the jobs are in jeopardy. Something has to be done to make the best of a bad situation, both financially and from a human perspective, perhaps then the result will be more jobs along with better pay and benefits.

  2. Edward says:

    During a game of soccer on the beach last month were I apparently broke my wrist, I
    drove myself to Jackson ER along with my $ 1,330 monthly medical insurance card with me
    in order to support Jackson as there are numerous options for one’s health care. After waiting for four hours in Jackson’s ER waiting room without any assistance from staff and surrounded by many alcoholics, psychotics and criminals, I got-up and drove to Baptist were I was immediately treated in a professional manner by caring staff. Based on my previous experience, does Jackson seriously expect sympathy from a myself nor any other consumer of medical services with the ability to pay for such services at any facility in Miami ?

  3. Jimbo99 says:

    Lot of people get laid off these days.