Erlanger in Chattanooga area will institute buyouts, mandatory time off, possible layoffs

Erlanger in Chattanooga area will institute buyouts, mandatory time off, possible layoffs

December 21st, 2011 by Mariann Martin in Local Regional News

Erlanger Hospital is located on 3rd Street in Chattanooga.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Erlanger will implement possible layoffs, voluntary buyouts and ask some employees to take 12 days off in the next two months in an attempt to stanch spiraling losses.

The public hospital has lost more $6 million in the last five months, half of that in November. It employs about 4,700 people.

A labor management plan for 2011-2112 was sent out to managers on Monday and the information will be posted on the hospital's intranet site at noon today.

The Times Free Press obtained a copy of the plan, which details how the hospital plans to cut costs.

Full-time employees in some departments will be asked to take 12 paid days off before March 1. Salaried employees will be asked to work if they do not have enough annual leave to cover their time off, the plan says.

Overtime and premiums paid for working extra shifts will also be curtailed, according to the plan.

A voluntary buyout program will be implemented in select departments in beginning in January.

The hospital is not implementing a job-hiring freeze but will review all current and future open positions to evaluate which positions are not needed, the plan says.

The plan also notes there may be layoffs.

"We also anticipate that positions will be eliminated in selected departments, starting with the executive level," the plan says.

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