Unionized healthcare workers are urging executives at State College, Pa.-based Mount Nittany Health System not to go through with 250 planned layoffs spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, statecollege.com reports.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania made the plea in a petition delivered to president and CEO Kathleen Rhine, according to the report. Workers said they are concerned the layoffs will negatively affect care quality.
In June, the health system announced plans to lay off 250 employees, or 10 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring to reduce pandemic-related losses. Mount Nittany made the announcement as it projected a $70 million revenue shortfall in fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30. The health system is also cutting executive compensation by 10 percent and spending for contracted services.
The union, which represents nearly 1,000 Mount Nittany nurses and healthcare workers, contends in the petition that health system administrators have “refused to share information or discuss alternatives” to the layoffs, according to the report. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania also argues the cuts “may threaten the high quality of care and/or reduce services for our patients and community.”
Mount Nittany Health spokesperson Nichole Monica disagreed with the allegations in a statement provided to statecollege.com. She said administrators have met with SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania leadership twice since the layoff announcement and did not receive any alternatives from the union.
She said leadership has also met with hundreds of staff members and “have incorporated their suggestions into our plans.”
As far as reducing services, Ms. Monica said: “We are not cutting programs or services for our patients. We are not changing nurse-to-patient ratios and every full-time or regular part-time RN will have a position available for them.”
Read the full report here.
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