For the second time this year, Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia is slashing 10% of its work force in an effort to curb mounting losses, a union leader said.
The 218-bed hospital, in the city's economically distressed Kensington section, is cutting 100 to 150 full-time jobs, said Kerry Silberman, an organizer for the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, which represents 300 nurses and technicians at Episcopal.
Last week, a hospital vice president, Meryle Ostroff, said Episcopal expects to lose $10 million to $12 million during the fiscal year ended June 30 and has had trouble paying vendors and keeping supplies stocked.
Union officials said they were told of the layoffs, which already have taken effect, last week. No services are to be eliminated, but cuts will be felt throughout the hospital, union members were told.
Silberman said he believed the Temple University Health System, which is preparing to take over Episcopal, called for the layoffs as a condition for absorbing the facility.
Temple signed a letter of intent last October to take over Episcopal (Nov. 10, 1997, p. 76), and has extended the deadline once to revive the hospital's financial condition.
On June 30, the two sides issued a statement saying a final merger agreement had been reached. Further details were unavailable at deadline.
Episcopal eliminated 140 jobs in January, reducing the hospital's work force to fewer than 1,000. The latest layoffs bring that number to 800 to 900, union officials said.