JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND -- Jersey City Medical Center confirmed on Thursday that "mandatory furlough" days began last month for full-time and part-time non-union adminstrative, management, and support staff, for financial reasons.
Mark Rabson, spokesperson for the hospital on Grand Street in downtown Jersey City, said the one-day-a-week furlough started on Nov. 22 and will end on Jan. 31. Rabson said that the 400 people affected are those in positions from as high-level as CEO Joseph Scott to those in the accounting department, and the furloughs will not affect patient care at the hospital, recently ranked as the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey with under 350 beds by the health care organization Castle Connolly.
Rabson said the hospital's "expenses exceeded income" in the months of October and November, with appoximately $1 million in losses in October. Rabson blamed the short-term financial shortfall on new programs implemented by the hospital such as a new woman's health center and an epilepsy program, specifically the building out of space, training of staff, equipment, and promotion effort to advertise those programs.
Rabson said hospital administrators are meeting every day to find other savings to avoid any future furloughs. He also said the nearly 1,600 employees not affected by the furloughs are "voluntarily making contributions" to the Hospital Foundation to help the Medical Center financially. And he commended the employees currently being furloughed.
"We thank the administrative and management employees who are in the furlough program and everyone else who is helping to insure financial stability of the Medical Center," Rabson said. - Ricardo Kaulessar