Dear SEIU members,
Many of you are aware of a memo released yesterday by Mike Slubowski, President and CEO of Trinity Health, detailing forthcoming layoffs in the wake of financial losses due to the pandemic. In the past day, we have received many messages from members who are frightened about potentially losing their jobs over the next few months.
In their memo, Trinity announced, “We must restructure and re-size our ministry, redesign our work and reduce our costs with this lower revenue base. Unfortunately, this requires additional colleague transitions – including position eliminations and severances, extended or new furloughs, and extended or new reductions in schedules.”
This is a real threat that SEIU needs to take very seriously. It’s unfathomable to think that our healthcare systems would lay off workers in the middle of the pandemic, but experience has already taught us that our health system is broken and that hospitals will quickly throw their workers under the bus before reducing even their own executive salaries. This is both morally reprehensible and completely unacceptable.
When Beaumont announced they would be closing the hospital at Wayne and laying off hundreds of workers, it took a concentrated effort of workers, community leaders, and elected officials to elevate the issue to the media and create an uproar for them to reconsider their decisions. As a result, the hospital was able to reopen, and hundreds of workers were rehired to their former positions. It may take such an effort again for us to be successful at Mercy.
Layoffs would exacerbate unsafe conditions at Mercy by compounding dangerous short-staffing that continues to get worse by the day. Trinity may also use layoffs as an excuse to weaken our union – we have already seen these tactics lobbied against us by Mercy during our nurses’ election. We must be prepared for everything and anything.
To fend off this assault on our union workers, we will consider all options in order to defend healthcare workers across both campuses. We hope you will stand with us and take action against Trinity to protect our patients, secure our jobs and improve working conditions for all.
Thank you for being an SEIU member. We will have more details soon on the next steps forward.