Steward Hospitals Cut Hospital Guard Jobs and Outsources to New Jersey Company
Posted Feb 03 2013 10:28pm
Of course cost was the reason here and this is what’s happening to jobs in the US and you wonder why people scratch their heads. Some were offered jobs with the new company, some were not, a few kept their current pay scale, many that “were” offered jobs did not. Four of the hospitals had unionized guards and some already had contracted guards. The one person got a phone call 10 minutes before her shift started. This is the cold crappy stuff that goes on and the real reason is that they want people out the door 1-2-3 without warning. It certainly lacks ethics as these are people are being let go due to nothing that they did.
There were some contracted guards already at work and I would guess when new guards were hired they were contracted. Many did not apply with the contractor as pay cuts were $10 an hour and larger. Steward lost $57 million in 2011. Steward is backed by Cerberus Capital. The Caritas chain almost had no other option than to be purchased a couple years ago as they were out of money. They expect the hospitals to start generating profits this year but we can wait and see and I think it’s pretty optimistic but maybe not realistic. With the way healthcare is changing today, it’s pretty hard to predict as anything such as a CMS fine can wipe your balance dry. Also at the end of last year Steward bailed on buying Mercy Health in Maine.
After insurers rates and other items have backed hospitals down the fox hole combined with more charity care, how will they fare for investments in the future? I think not so hot as they have a lot of fixed costs they can’t change and money is tight. Even some of the best operating hospitals are shedding employees and other costs. BD
Steward Health Care System eliminated the security staff at four of its Massachusetts hospitals earlier this month, outsourcing about 50 jobs to a New Jersey-based contractor with connections to Steward’s parent company. The hospital guards, several of whom had been on staff for more than 20 years, trained some of the workers who replaced them under the new company. Most of the Steward guards at Quincy Medical Center, Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, and Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River were told they could reapply for a job with the new contractor, APG Security. Many declined to do so because it meant taking a pay cut of as much as $10 an hour, according to several former guards.
“I was pretty upset,” Duval said when she heard the news. “I didn’t expect a phone call 10 minutes before my shift started.” Several APG employees were already working at the hospitals and had been trained by the guards they would eventually replace, said former Quincy Medical guard Mike Mac Pherson, who made as much as $21 an hour for weekend shifts. Mac Pherson said APG did not offer him a security job.