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St. Vincent's Hospital Workers Agree to Pay Cuts

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doctors, nurses, and all administrators and staff at St. Vincent’s Medical Center will see their paychecks reduced for the next 120 days, in an effort to cut expenses and stave off bankruptcy. Two unions, SEIU 1199, and the New York State Nurses Association, say their members agreed to the cuts in an effort to keep St. Vincent's open. The move comes after the struggling hospital announced pay cuts for non-union staff.

In a statement, George Gresham, President of 1199, says he salutes the St. Vincent’s employees’ "courageous sacrifice" to keep the hospital open.

Barbara Woods is a medical surgery nurse manager and says her salary will be reduced by 20 percent for the next 4 months. "I think morale is down, but obviously we want to see the hospital saved. The patients who are there right now need to be taken care of, and we're not going to let them be affected by this. Hopefully we’re going to pull out of this," Woods says.

In a statement St. Vincent's chief restructuring officer, Mark Toney, says the hospital is grateful to its dedicated workforce for making the "greatest personal sacrifices."

Nurses will see a 10 to 15 percent temporary pay cut and other staff members are giving up 20 percent or more.

Saint Vincent's owes creditors about $700 million and is currently working with a task force to find ways to cut costs.

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