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VOL. 37 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 13, 2013

Vanderbilt Medical Center to make more job cuts

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Vanderbilt University Medical Center was expected to cut several hundred more jobs this week as part of a plan to eliminate more than 1,000 positions by the end of the year.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1aQvJMd) reports the latest round of layoffs is part of the medical center's plan to cut $250 million from its $3.3 billion operating budget over the next two fiscal years.

About 300 people were laid off earlier this summer, but that round of cuts did not count toward the final tally of cut jobs, which Vanderbilt has reported will be 1,033.

The latest eliminations were expected to start as early as Tuesday.

"What's happened here at Vanderbilt is today we've started this action, and several hundred people will be leaving the organization," VUMC spokesman John Howser said.

Employees terminated on Tuesday were to remain on staff for 60 days. After that, should they agree to the terms of separation, they will be eligible for the following options:

- Paid leave during the 60-day notification period.

- Separation pay based on years of Vanderbilt service, paid out at the current base pay rate for up to 22 weeks.

- Priority consideration for open positions at Vanderbilt through VU Human Resources.

- $2,500 health care supplement to help cover health care costs or other transition expenses.

- Payout of accrued but unused balances for vacation and personal time.

- Career counseling services through an outsourcing firm and Vanderbilt Human Resources.

- 120 days of continued access to Vanderbilt child care services.

Jeffrey Balser is head of the medical center. He said factors for the job cuts include a lack of Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and a reduction in National Institutes of Health grant funding.

Balser said Vanderbilt has mitigated the staff reduction by a hiring freeze that has been in place for several months, as well as n ormal workforce attrition.

In addition, the medical center has offered an early retirement option for some employees, and about 250 employees took it in July, according to VUMC officials.