FREMONT -- ¿Physician assistants, nurses and medical directors were among the 200 jobs recently eliminated by the Washington Township Health Care District to cut costs, according to new information released by the district.
In response to a request under the California Public Records Act, the district provided a list this week of the 75 job titles included in the approximately 132 vacant and 68 filled positions eliminated in recent months as part of a 13 percent workforce reduction.
The district initially declined a request for the positions eliminated, citing employee sensitivity and competitive reasons, as reported by this newspaper Jan. 17. The reduction was undertaken by district administrators and was discussed by the board of directors behind closed doors without public notice.
The Washington Township Health Care District is a public agency in southern Alameda County and receives tax money from 320,000 district residents under voter-approved bond measures. The district is required to comply with the same open meetings and public records laws as city councils and other governments.
According to the district, positions eliminated include those providing direct medical care to patients, such as emergency medical technicians, speech therapists, registered nurses and physical therapy aids and assistants. Those working behind the scenes and at varying levels of management were not spared from the cuts, either. Nurse manager, nursing supervisor, department director, executive director, lab technician, and case and office manager also appear on the list. In total, the cuts are projected to save the district $16.1 million.
The district also previously declined to specify the date layoff notices were first issued, but according to a memo from CEO Nancy Farber to employees provided this week under a public records request, layoffs began Nov. 16.
"Senior Executive Staff will be contacting individual employees affected by the reduction in workforce beginning Friday, November 16th. Because of our history of financial strength, we are among the last of the Bay Area hospitals to take this step. This was not a decision that was entered into lightly," Farber wrote. Farber has served as district CEO for 18 years and was paid in recent years more than $900,000 annually, though the board of directors last month postponed awarding her 2012 incentive compensation,
Board members have said previously that the reductions were an administrative function delegated to Farber and the result of correlating staffing with patient need. Involvement in the decision, they said, would be micromanagement.
Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.