UnityPoint Health announces temporary staffing changes including hours reduction and furloughs due to COVID-19

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WMBD) — Employees of UnityPoint Health will be going through some temporary changes due to COVID-19 beginning Sunday.

Administrators from UnityPoint announced Tuesday morning plans to temporarily reduce hours for some employees, enact limited furloughs and a salary reduction for executives. The hours reduction will affect administrative, support, ancillary and clinical employees. UnityPoint Health executives are expected to take an average reduction in salary of 15%.

“The COVID-19 crisis has challenged UnityPoint Health as a care provider and as an employer,” said UnityPoint Health President and CEO Kevin Vermeer. “While we remain focused on providing the best care possible for our patients, it’s critical we conserve our resources wherever possible. These changes in our workforce are needed to ensure we can continue meeting the healthcare needs of our communities into the future.”

The workforce changes come after officials say they already paused elective services, deferred or delayed all capital projects and reduced unnecessary spending. The health system does plan to provide resources to the employees affected through the continuation of benefits and financial assistance where applicable.

UnityPoint Health operates several facilities in Central Illinois, including two hospitals in Peoria and one in Pekin.

Emily Porter, the senior VP of Talent and Marketing and Communications for UnityPoint Health, provided the following statement:

Over half of UnityPoint Health’s team members are impacted as a result of the lower volumes, cancellation of elective procedures and temporary closures of services creating a reduction in hours and associated compensation. All executives at the vice president level and above will take a 15% pay reduction. The majority of management and professional staff will also receive pay reductions for a defined period of time. Temporary furloughs will affect team members in areas where work is significantly limited or not available.

The moves go into effect April 26.

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