Medical Center realigning work force
170 positions cut; no layoffs anticipated
By Matt Kelly
part of an effort to save $28 million, the Medical
Center budgeted for 170 fewer positions in fiscal year 2003,
but in an effort to avoid layoffs, the hospital will work to reassign
the affected employees.
about the jobs spurred the U.Va. Staff Union to hold a protest.
Members believe employees have been excluded from the decision-making
process, and they gathered at the Corner on June 26 to circulate
petitions asking for a greater voice.
the Medical Centers plan, realigned employees would be given
priority in applying for other positions within the center. The
job eliminations have been determined by comparing the center
with 12 comparable medical facilities, according to William E.
Nick Carter, chief operating officer of the Medical
will identify areas where changes in staffing levels must be made
to improve efficiency, Carter told employees in a letter.
He said the realignment, which affects about 3 percent of the
hospital workforce, will seek a better match between patient volume
in the realignment pool will be interviewed by the Medical Centers
Human Resources department to determine what jobs they are qualified
for, then will be put in line for other positions, he said. They
also will be first priority for positions that open through attrition.
Carter said he hopes to have two or three jobs to offer each candidate.
someone takes a job that pays less than the one he or she has
now, Carter said, his or her salary is frozen at its current level
until the pay grade of the new job rises to that level. Once in
the reassignment pool, an employee continues working in his or
her department (though not necessarily at the same job) at the
same grade of pay while applying for other positions. That continues
until the employee successfully applies for another job. However,
if the person turns down a job offer, then he or she will be considered
to have resigned.
stressed that the entire system was being examined and all classifications
of employees, with the exception of physicians, were affected.
He said 10 managers whose contracts are not being renewed are
not part of the 170 targeted positions.
job elimination, which accounts for one-quarter to one-third of
the $28 million savings, is scheduled to take place over the next
year. Carters goal is to have it completed sooner to ease
said the positions to be eliminated have been determined and all
employees have been notified.
issues and the realignment plan were outlined to about 400 employees
in five town hall meetings at the Medical Center from June 24-26.
In addition, employees met with their supervisors and received
letters that further explained the process.
Last weeks union protest was designed to bring public pressure
to bear on the Medical Center. The union is seeking accountability
from center officials, said union president Jan Cornell.
the protest, 105 signatures were collected and added to the 500
signatures already gathered. Cornell planned to present letters
and signed petitions calling for a meeting between union officials
and Leonard W. Sandridge, University executive vice president
and chief operating officer, and R. Edward Howell, Medical Center
chief executive officer.
members said the employees have had no say in what happens with
their jobs. Cornell said meetings were held during which employees
were told what was going to happen, but she said they were not
given an opportunity for input.
dont feel bad if they are part of the decision-making process,