UTMB layoffs start today

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The actual layoffs will begin today as individual workers meet with department heads. The hospital will be downsized to 200 beds, one-third of its current number. It will keep its labor and delivery unit, burn unit, and transplant program.

The plan calls for bringing back UTMB's Level 1 trauma center as quickly as possible, though it is expected to take a year or longer to be able to do that.

Even with the decreased number of layoffs, this will be devastating to island healthcare. When we crunched the numbers, it reveals an ugly picture.

UTMB has 12,504 total employees. They're not just on the island, but spread out in clinics all over the state.

Let's look closer at the numbers to see how bad it could be for John Sealy Hospital. More than 3,300 UTMB employees work in correctional managed care, taking care of seriously ill Texas prison inmates. They won't be laid off. Their funding comes from secure contracts with the state.

Another 4,400 UTMB employees are in the academic sector, many spending federal research dollars...also safer.

Regents said they wanted to keep the research and teaching opportunities at UTMB.

That leaves the roughly 4,900 clinical and support staffers very vulnerable. If all the layoffs come from there, and that would be hard, it would be 61 percent of the people who work full time at UTMB, delivering health care on the island.

UTMB's current plan is to open a little more than one of every three pre-storm hospital beds. That would in line with these layoff numbers.

We'll know more later today.

The following email regarding 3,000 layoffs went out to employees of the hospital. Also, read a letter from the president of UTMB.


WHO: UTMB President Dr. David Callender has announced that an anticipated reduction in force will begin Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008.

WHAT: UTMB will begin giving notice to approximately 3,000 faculty and staff members whose positions are part of the reduction in force authorized Nov. 12, 2008, by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. UTMB will complete employee notifications by Monday, Nov. 24. The regents authorized the elimination of up to 3,800 full-time equivalent positions.

Classified employees will receive 60 days notice with full salary and benefits, consistent with UTMB's practice. Administrative and professional employees will receive a minimum of 60 days notice with full salary and benefits. Nontenured faculty will receive six months notice with full salary and benefits, and tenured and tenure-track faculty will receive notice with full salary and benefits through Aug. 31, 2009, the end of the fiscal year.

UTMB is staffing two Employee Help Centers, one centrally located on the mainland and one on the island (http://www.utmb.edu/utmbemployeehelpcenter). Both centers are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Services and resources include job search counseling, job fairs, training on interviewing, resume writing and online job searches, employee benefit and retirement counseling, financial counseling and training, and counseling for personal issues.

WHEN: Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008.

HOW: Senior leadership and managers first identified the skills needed to perform critical work needed during the recovery and transition period. When the number of positions exceeded the volume of available work, individual staffing decisions were based on criteria such as skill set, performance and service orientation.

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