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Most Jobs Safe, Yale-New Haven Says
by Thomas MacMillan | Aug 10, 2012 8:26 am
Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, City Hall, Health
After she and her colleagues received top-level assurances, Newhallville Alderwoman Delphine Clyburn plans to call nervous constituents and tell them they probably needn’t fear pay cuts or in most cases job losses when Yale-New Haven Hospital finishes taking over the Hospital of St. Raphael.
Clyburn and 13 other aldermen received those assurances Thursday evening at a City Hall briefing by Yale-New Haven (YNHH) officials.
She and other lawmakers told hospital staff that they’ve received anxious phone calls from constituents who work at St. Raphael’s (HSR). The constituents worry they’ll lose their jobs or benefits when YNHH takes over in September.
Some jobs will be eliminated, said Vin Patrini, YNHH senior vice-president of public affairs. As many as 200 people’s positions will be made “redundant” by the acquisition. But the hospital is working hard to find new positions for those people, Patrini said. And YNHH is hiring 3,400 HSR staffers, he said.
Kevin Myatt (pictured), YNHH senior vice-president in charge of human resources, assured Clyburn that staff transferred from HSR will have different but equivalent wages and benefits.
“It sounded like they were safe?” Clyburn said of her nervous constituents after the briefing, still with a questioning tone in her voice. After further conversation with Myatt and Patrini about pensions, she was more assured. “I think they are secure.”
Thursday’s aldermanic briefing was the latest in a series of informational meetings organized by the Board of Aldermen, which has many of rookie lawmakers looking to learn about different aspects of the city. The board has had briefings on the Shubert theater and Yale university, and will have one on the city’s Complete Streets manual on Aug. 20.
Before aldermen turned their attention to YNHH’s acquisition of HSR, Patrini took them through an deck of PowerPoint slides on the hospital.
Yale-New Haven is a not-for-profit institution with 1,008 beds and 3,600 physicians. It has a cancer hospital, a children’s hospital, and a psychiatric hospital. It’s the city’s second largest employer after Yale University. The hospital employs over 2,200 New Haveners and pays them about $110 million in wages each year. Employees benefit from medical, dental, and prescription drug plans, as well as a performance-based bonus system and a homeownership program.
As a not-for-profit, YNHH does not pay property taxes on the land it owns, but it has given the city $7 million in voluntary payments since 2006, Petrini said. The hospital also supports many local not-for-profits and community organizations. Petrini said the hospital is supporting the Board of Aldermen’s “jobs pipeline” initiative, which seeks to connect New Haveners to job training and job placement.
As for the acquisition of HSR, Petrini said YNHH has received requisite approvals, including getting green lights from the state and federal governments and securing the blessing of the Vatican (since HSR is a Catholic hospital).
The final formal takeover now awaits resolution of Medicare billing details that need to be in place for YNHH to collect Medicare payments at HSR. The latest projected date for the closing of the deal is the week of Sept. 9, said Petrini.
“No One Will Lose”
When Petrini opened the floor for questions, aldermen immediately began asking about employees losing their jobs as a result of the acquisition. Petrini said that will be the case for fewer than 200 HSR workers.
“The most common reason is redundancy,” he said. Yale-New Haven will not need two people doing the same job in certain departments, and will first lay off the HSR worker in the duplicate position. The “vast majority” of the redundancies will be in management, Petrini said.
Some people will not be hired by YNHH because they were previously fired by the hospital before subsequently finding jobs at HSR, said Petrini.
“Just because Yale fired them they can’t work?” asked Hill Alderwoman Dolores Colon. “You’re not willing to give them a second chance?”
Myatt said people in that situation will be considered “one by one.” It’s not a large group of people, he said. “In that bucket you’re probably talking 56, 58.”
Colon later said she thinks those workers should be given another shot. “Put them on a probationary period,” she suggested.
Fair Haven Heights Alderwoman Brenda Jones-Barnes (pictured) said she’d spoken with some nervous nurses at HSR who were sure their pay will be cut under YNHH ownership.
Petrini said there are no plans to cut anyone’s pay. “No one will lose,” said Myatt.
Hill Alderwoman Jackie James said she heard that Yale will be dismantling the Teamsters union at HSR after two years.
Myatt said that’s untrue.
Alderwoman Colon said she heard that YNHH is firing people for failing credit checks.
Untrue, said Petrini. “There’s not credit checks.” The hospital does do criminal background checks, he said.
“I’m concerned about the development of a monopoly,” said Westville Alderman Adam Marchand. Health care is a larger and larger cost for the city, and many of its employees are treated at the two hospitals, Marchand said. “We all could be at the mercy of Yale-New Haven.”
“The Federal Trade Commission looked at exactly that issue,” said Petrini. The commission reviewed “a million” documents provided by the hospital to “understand the impact [the acquisition] would have on the marketplace.” The commission concluded that there would not be an adverse effect.
“We’re going to try to keep those rates where they are,” Petrini said.
After the briefing, Myatt spoke with Clyburn about pension contributions. Yale-New Haven will pay into the 401Ks of its new HSR employees, something that hasn’t happened for four years at HSR, due to the financial straits that hospital has been under.
Clyburn said she plans to call back the nervous constituents who called her, to reassure them about the acquisition.
“I’m just hoping the people asking me are not in that 100 or 200” who will be “redundant,” she said.
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No pay cuts, huh? Well, when the required monthly contribution a nurse needs to make to keep her family’s health insurance DOUBLES, I’d call that a pay cut.
Oh, and when they double the monthly staff cost for parking in the garages at St. Raphael’s? That’s another pay cut.
posted by: streever on August 10, 2012 3:57pm
If they are going to change the salary/benefits, I hope they start with parking.
Subsidized or free parking is a cost shift which directly impacts the poorest—those who can not afford cars make less and are taxed to subsidize the ownership of automobiles and the parking of said automobiles.
If the cost of parking raises, it means they won’t have to lay-off the lowest earners, or impact them, which is a good thing.
The poorest do not own cars, so this is a benefit to them. They already use mass transit, walking, biking, and ride share programs.
No credit checks? Why did we all sign consents to credit checks? Just to make people nervous, or for future invasion of privacy?
The employees being let go, who are not redundant, are all being looked at “one by one”, and then all being fired. Doesn’t sound like they’re looking very hard if the answer is the same each time.
In the end, however, it’s all more of the same mindless corporate double speak.
To Dee and v: you both sound so angry about the acquisition. It is not yales fault that st.rays is broke and barely making payroll. What would you liked to see happen? If ynhh didn’t bail out st rays,where would you be? What were st rays other options,please tell me. Would it have been better if a bunch of investors bought the place?Do you realize ynhh could have gone in there and got rid of all of you and started over. Any for profit company would have come in and done just that. Why is Yale the bad guy in this whole thing.. I agree it is sad that all of this is happening but why are you blaming Yale for st rays mistakes.Also,maybe if st rays charged you a little more for benefits and parking they wouldn’t be in this situation. Remember you could of had no pay rather than an increase in benefits and parking. And dee, Since st rays hasn’t contributed to your 401k in four yrs. I think Yale contributing to your 401k is considered an increase in pay…..did you ever think of that. Please, moving forward,be happy you have a job, let the anger go and welcome to Yale, which by the way is a great employer! I think once the period of “mourning” is over,you will enjoy working for Yale.
To alder woman colon: I’m sure they were given many second chances and put on probation prior to being fired the first time. Please trust,if they were fired in the first place it was for good reason.
Oh please. The St. Raphael’s ship went down and everyone is pretending it’s gonna be business at usual over at HSR? Give me a break.
I hope for everyone’s sake that Yale new Haven tries to curb the bloat and become more efficient for an uncertain health care future. If you’re employed by the losing institution in a merger, and have nothing to bring to the party, don’t expect things to go well.
Oh, I am well aware that St Raphael’s is crashing and burning in a spectacular manner, and that change is inevitable. I’m just sick of lies and double-speak.