Horizon Health responds to layoff concerns
New Brunswick's largest health network responded Monday to questions about layoffs within the corporation.
Leslie Reid, Horizon Health Network's labour and employee relations director, said the corporation is reviewing its delivery of healthcare services, trying to find savings in its budget.
On Friday, word was sent to 11,000 members that workers in the province's largest hospital corporation could see layoffs soon.
"I cannot tell you around layoffs specifically because until those reviews are done, we are not really sure," said Reid. "I don't have that answer right at this moment, depending on the efficiencies can be done, we may be looking at how we provide that services differently rather than layoffs."
Reid added that whatever action the corporation takes to balance its budget, patient safety is paramount.
Canadian Union of Public Employees local president Norma Robinson says she has been fielding calls from worried members.
"This is going to be happening relatively soon. It's just that we don't know where and the exact date when it is going to take place," said Robinson.
The cuts could affect workers at any of the health network's 12 hospitals and 26 healthcare centres, clinics and other programs such as mental health services.
"They provide clean linen, they provide the food the patients received as well as the public, they clean the hospitals, they do all the administrative work," said Robinson.
Paramedics and licensed practical nurses are also part of this union.
CUPE is concerned that any change could affect patient care.
"We are at a skeleton crew currently, I mean there are departments today, that if you said you weren't replacing one of the staff it would put a lot more work on the existing staff there, and something would fall through the cracks," said Robinson.
Even though reviews are done every year, Robinson said this is first time layoffs have been mentioned.