BY SHANNON DUFF
LISTOWEL – Listowel-Wingham Hospitals Alliance president and CEO Karl Ellis has confirmed some hospital staff will be laid off in the coming months.
Employees in housekeeping, materials management, diagnostic imaging, inpatient nursing, pastoral and ward clerks will be affected by the staffing adjustments, Ellis said.
“It’s difficult news,” he told The Banner. “It impacts people’s lives, it’s certainly difficult news to have to communicate.”
Ellis said the move is in response to hospital funding, which he stated has essentially been frozen.
“We are affected by the same increases, such as utilities, as everyone else,” he said.
Ellis explained that when hospitals make staffing adjustments, it’s a process laid out in the collective agreement. Staff has been notified and there is a five-month lead period, which, said Ellis, can impact the final number of staff affected. For instance, if resignations or retirements take place in the meantime, “the numbers could be very different five months from now,” he said.
The hospital also has fewer inpatients than it did five to six years ago, said Ellis, “and the staff adjustments reflect that.”
“I don’t want to minimize the impact,” he said. “There is significant impact for those affected, and it’s unfortunate anytime we have to issue layoff notices. We can appreciate the stress that causes.”