UPDATE: MU Health Care lays off 32 employees, bringing MU total to 49

4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Friday, May 01 2020 May 1, 2020 Friday, May 01, 2020 1:42:00 PM CDT May 01, 2020 in News
By: Laura Evans, Missourian Reporter

COLUMBIA - MU personnel changes such as layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts have begun in earnest. MU Health Care laid off 32 people Friday, bringing the total number of MU and MU Health Care employees out of jobs to 49.

MU will provide weekly updates on the coming personnel changes, according to a campus email Friday afternoon. In these updates, numbers will not be broken down at departmental or divisional levels. Information about pay cuts will be included.

“Temporary measures will not address the budget situation or protect the mission of the university,” UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi said in the email. “We must respond in fundamental ways, re-evaluate our structure and invest in priorities that are important to our future. This will mean re-alignment, restructuring and loss of positions.”

Restructuring and changes to payroll costs and spending are coming “over the next weeks and months,” the email said.

Also as of Friday, no furloughs have occurred, about $800,000 of voluntary pay reductions have been taken by MU employees and about $1.6 million of pay reductions have been taken from UM System leaders, administrators and other employees, according to the email.

The cuts at MU Health Care were made across five hospitals and over 40 clinics to adjust for lost medical revenue and state funding, according to an MU Health Care news release Friday. Eligible employees will receive transition assistance, the release said.

In an April 9 UM System Board of Curators meeting, system Chief Financial Officer Ryan Rapp said MU Health Care's deferral of elective procedures was projected to cause a $30 million to $35 million revenue loss.

Friday's layoff news comes after the MU School of Medicine announced Thursday its employees will either take a 10% pay cut over the next three weeks or a one-week furlough. Faculty members will take the pay cut for three months ending July 31, and staff will be asked to take either the same pay cut or a one-week furlough during the three-month period.

According to the news release, MU Health Care has taken other cost-saving measures such as terminating over 300 MU Health Care open positions, about 100 open positions in the Medical School and about 70 agency-contracted nurses.

Additionally, it has ended travel, non-essential spending and merit pay increases, the release said.

“Hundreds of inpatient beds have been unoccupied, non-emergeny surgeries have been canceled, and clinic visits reduced significantly," Jonathan Curtright, MU Health Care CEO, said in the release. "We are forced to act quickly and decisively to ensure our long-term financial stability and growth moving forward."

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