To improve revenue levels, Mammoth Hospital officials have decided to reduce staff numbers by 20 full-time jobs.
Hospital Administrator Gary Boyd said that initially the hospital will offer voluntary separations Starting July 1. Boyd said he will accept applications until July 10th and then make a decision by July 15. If more reductions are needed, involuntary layoffs would go into effect. This staff reduction move will be complete by the end of July.
The Hospital Board approved the new fiscal year budget Thursday and administration began meetings with employees Friday and will continue today.
Why the cuts? Boyd said that with the downturn in the economy, Mammoth Hospital is feeling the effects. “We want a 3% operating gain for the year and so we have to reduce wages.” Boyd explained that the operational gain would amount to a $2.5 million excess after expenses.
Boyd said this money would allow the hospital to invest in new equipment and handle cost increases. Asked if there were other factors that led to this decision, Boyd said, “No, not really. We just need to reduce expenses.”
What about pay cuts for senior and middle management? Boyd said officials aren’t considering across the board cuts and no pay cuts. He said that cost of living adjustments were suspended for the first six months of the year. The Hospital Board did vote to match retirement contributions by 30%.
Asked if service would suffer with the loss of 20 positions, Boyd said there shouldn’t be an impact. He said traditionally staff numbers are geared for the high part of the tourist season. “We need to gear staff for the average part of the season.” Overall, Mammoth Hospital employs 320 full-time equivalents. The annual budget amounts to roughly $55 million.
Some staff have accused hospital officials of bad management decisions leading to the cut in jobs. Boyd said, “I don’t think any bad decisions played into this. We’ve held staffing flat, and we tried to reduce jobs through attrition and voluntary methods and now we have to take an assertive approach.
“Our cash flow is good,” said Boyd, “but we need to live within our means.”