Schenectady County

Ellis cuts 53 positions

Ellis Medicine has eliminated 53 positions over the past three months because of budget cuts.

Ellis Medicine has eliminated 53 positions over the past three months because of budget cuts, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

The positions range from clerical workers and administrative support to management, spokeswoman Donna Evans said. No direct patient-care positions were lost, however.

In March, unionized registered nurses at Ellis approved a four-year contract that provided raises and a say in staffing issues. Evans said all 670 nurses will keep their jobs. No other employees at Ellis belong to a union.

The contract did not include specifications on core staffing numbers because Ellis claimed the requirement would take away management’s flexibility to move staff where needed. Other provisions included an increase in the amount the hospital would contribute to the health insurance premiums of nurses and management is now required to perform timely reviews of complaints.

Ellis on Friday released a statement: “The new contract achieves the goals the Hospital has maintained from the beginning of negotiations: balancing the needs of our employees and their families while ensuring Ellis Medicine’s commitment to the patients in our community.”

Ellis employs nearly 3,300 people since it took over Bellevue Woman’s Care Center in 2007 and St. Clare’s Hospital in 2008. The parent corporation now has three divisions: Ellis Hospital on Nott Street; Ellis Health Center, which was once St. Clare’s; and Bellevue Woman’s Care Center in Niskayuna. It is affiliated with 600 physicians.

Evans said the health-care facilities are stable and the layoffs are part of a re-design most hospitals are taking because of funding cuts.

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