As furloughs start for 5,500 UW Medicine workers, patients and staff worry about care


UW Medicine has sliced about $76 million from its budget, said Susan Gregg, a spokes­woman. The system has announced it faces an estimated $500 million short­fall by summer’s end.

The furloughs of 5,500 staffers, for between one and eight weeks, will save some $15 million. About 35% of the reduc­tions are at ambula­tory clinical sites, where Gregg said patient visits have dropped 20% to 30%.

UW Medicine reached agree­ments over reduc­tions with three labor unions: SEIU 1199NW, the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion (WSNA) and the Washington Feder­a­tion of State Employees (WFSE). Negoti­a­tions with SEIU 925 broke down.

Courtney Nygaard, who bargained with other SEIU 925 members, said the union antic­i­pates pursuing griev­ances and an unfair-labor-practice claim against UW Medicine, over concerns about the layoff-notice timeline, seniority and managers dealing directly with employees.


THE SEATTLE TIMES: As furloughs start for 5,500 UW Medicine workers, patients and staff worry about care (6/4/20)