McLaren Bay Region to make staffing cuts - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

McLaren Bay Region to make staffing cuts

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BAY CITY (WJRT) -

(02/25/13) - We are learning more about staffing cuts at a Bay City hospital.

By April 1, McLaren Bay Region plans to eliminate the majority of its Licensed Practical Nurses. There are also a number of other jobs on the line.

Hospital management, employees and union members met throughout the day to discuss the layoffs.

Thirty of the LPN jobs will be phased out, and the hospital is also looking to outsource 10 security department positions and seven dietary department positions.

The hospital says the cuts are being made to better serve patients and to enhance the hospital's operating efficiency. The largest cuts are hitting the nurses.

"It's really sad because we were one of the few hospitals who were still employing LPN's," said Jean Mosser, one of the nurses facing a layoff.

A written statement released by the hospital says the cuts are being made to better serve patients. RN's, who typically have 2-3 more years of schooling, will replace LPN's. The hospital says it will provide service pay, but not everyone will get it.

"It's contractional, and we just re-did our contract in December and who would have thought to add that in there," said Sherry Whittaker, union president. "There were a lot of tears. We were loyal to this hospital."

LPN's don't qualify for the package, but, the hospital says it will provide other jobs. It's an opportunity some nurses say they can't afford.

"They're all part time," Mosser said. "Pray for us, that we find another job."

The hospital will keep five of its LPN's. A union rep says those positions will go to nurses with the most seniority. Some nurses are expected to retire - some of them with as many as 47 years of experience.

"We have enjoyed taking care of people in this community and a lot of us have taken care of them from birth until death really, and their families so, we thank the community for all of their support," Whittaker said.

The employees last day on the job will be March 31.

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