UC Health executives take pay cut to prevent layoffs, furloughs

Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 16:57:36-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions here.

CINCINNATI -- UC Health executives will take a pay cut to prevent layoffs or furloughs as the system ramps up its response to COVID-19.

Health system leaders have also been asked to reduce payroll expenses to direct critical funding to medical staff working to combat coronavirus.

“Almost as soon as this public health crisis began, and much like other healthcare systems across the country and locally, we saw our expenses increase dramatically while our revenue streams have dwindled – all while doing the right thing for our communities," said UC Spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen in a statement Friday.

In line with Gov. Mike DeWine’s order, UC Health has canceled or postponed "non-emergent elective surgeries and clinic visits" to conserve PPE and keep beds open to care for COVID-19 patients. The health system also "re-prioritized" its projects by pausing or eliminating work, and clarified and pivoted to focus on supporting our COVID-19 response.

"These measures were also taken to protect our workforce and other patients by preventing further spread of infection," Nageleisen said. "Our first response to help offset the diminished revenues was to proactively defer major capital expenses and non COVID-19-related projects."

But that response wasn't enough, officials say.

"Like other health care and service industry businesses, our largest expense is our employment costs. We do not want to have layoffs or furloughs. We value every employee and believe that we will need our full workforce especially as we plan for a surge of COVID-19 patients, and certainly after we emerge from our current reality," Nageleisen said.

Because of this, UC is implementing the pay reduction for all directors and above, and asks leaders to reduce their department payroll expenses by a minimum of 20% either by using paid time off (PTO) and/or unpaid leave.

"By taking these actions, we are seeking to preserve the jobs and benefits of our employees who are so important for us, and ensure that they can take care of our patients, community and their families, especially during this unprecedented time," Nageleisen said. "While we don’t want to take these actions, we must take action now to ensure we have the resources needed to care for our friends and neighbors suffering from COVID-19."