Manitoba

Health authority expects to dole out $5.3M in severance pay to laid off managers

This week 132 positions — including some that were vacant — were cut at the largest health authority in Manitoba. The cut will save the WRHA about $10 million a year, a spokesperson said. But first the authority will have to pay more than $5.3 million in severance packages.

Province's largest health region eliminated 132 positions Tuesday to comply with government order

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority expects to pay out more than $5.3 million in severance packages to laid off managers. (Claude Vickery/CBC)

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority expects to pay out $5.36 million in severance packages to laid-off managers whose jobs were eliminated this week to comply with a government order, the agency says.

On Tuesday 132 positions — including some that were vacant — were cut at the largest health authority in Manitoba. The cut will save the WRHA about $10 million a year, a spokesperson said.

At least 197 positions management positions were cut across Manitoba health authorities and at agencies including CancerCare and Diagnostic Services Manitoba this week.

Interim NDP Leader Flor Marcelino denounced the cuts, especially as government makes massive changes to emergency care at Winnipeg hospitals.

The province plans to close three emergency rooms in the city: 

  • Seven Oaks General Hospital.
  • Victoria General Hospital.
  • Concordia Hospital.

Misericordia Health Centre's urgent care centre will be converted into an intravenous therapy clinic.

"At a time when the government has caused so much disruption and confusion in the system by shutting down emergency rooms, the WRHA has confirmed that it is also firing people who support patient care," Marcelino said in a written statement.

"The government is firing the very people who are supposed to manage the massive disruption Pallister himself has caused."

According to the opposition party, layoffs this week included a manager of geriatric mental health, a manager of patient safety and a patient flow manager.

Carolyne Buck, who was laid off from her job as manager of the Kildonan Medical Centre at Seven Oaks Hospital Tuesday, described herself as a lower manager and made about $60,000 a year.

She wonders how remaining managers at the hospital will cope with both additional responsibilities from departing workers like herself and the changes underway in emergency rooms.

$1M yearly savings for Southern Health region

The Northern Health Region is expected to pay about $23,000 in severance, an email from a spokesperson said. The cut is expected to produce annual savings of about $620,000.

About $825,000 will be paid out in severance for 19 positions cut in the Southern Health-Santé Sud region, a spokesperson said in an email to CBC News. The cuts are expected to save about $1.1 million annually. 

A spokesperson for Interlake-Eastern RHA said it was not in a position to release information about severance payouts due to layoffs. 

The Progressive Conservatives did not provide comment, citing a communications blackout prescribed by Elections Manitoba during the Point Douglas byelection period.

Full coverage of health cuts in Manitoba

with files from Kelly Malone

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