Eastern Niagara Hospital announced today it will be placing approximately 60 employees across the organization on work furloughs. This temporary measure, that includes both union and non-union staff, is in response to the suspension of elective surgeries and procedures, reduced outpatient volume and suspended services associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of hospitals across NYS and the nation are responding with similar actions as a result of lost revenue.
Anne McCaffrey, President & Chief Executive Officer stated, “While we continue to sustain preparedness in critical areas for any potential surge of patients from the pandemic, it is also the Hospital’s responsibility to maintain overall financial stability for the long term. We emphasize that these measures are temporary and look forward to being able to bring these workers back to work as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and ENH is able to move forward with elective surgical procedures, routine diagnostics and our full array of services.”
A number of departments will be affected, primarily surgery and outpatient services, as well as administrative and support areas. No employees in the Emergency Department, ICU or Inpatient Units are being furloughed. The Hospital is notifying impacted employees this week and the furlough will be effective immediately.
McCaffrey added, “We are not alone. Numerous hospitals are facing the same financial challenges. This action is the necessary response until the restrictions have been lifted and volumes are restored. Our goal is for furloughed employees to resume their positions back at the Hospital as soon as possible. Until that time, all affected employees will be eligible to apply for NYS unemployment benefits, as well as the additional federal benefits that are being provided at this time. ENH has also committed to providing further support to employees by maintaining health insurance and related benefits, as well as seniority status, vacation and other accruals during this temporary period.”