HCMC announces layoffs, citing budget concerns

Job cuts are coming down at Hennepin County Medical Center. Of the 6,000 full-time employees at Hennepin County Medical Center, 131 have been laid off.

The hospital says the layoffs were necessary to meet the 2017 budget, but those affected say the wrong people are being laid off. They say the hospital is too top-heavy, with too many managers.

“We're saying chop from the top. Start with administrative and work your way down  before you start working with people who do the work, the actual work,” said Carmen Brown, the president of the AFSCME Local 977.

Laid-off employees gathered outside the hospital on Thursday to protest the job cuts.

These protesters say environmental service and clerical workers were most affected by the layoffs. Some have their hours cut and their start times shifted so they cannot make their second jobs and some are just losing their jobs all together.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Ryan Haerth, a HCMC employee who is facing a layoff. “You know, everyone else who works with me, they all have second jobs. They all have families to take care of. It's very sad to hear.”

“What's really disturbing about it is they were hiring people all the way through December without telling those people that were hired that there's a possible layoff,” Brown said.

HCMC released a statement that said, in part, “We recognize that this is a difficult time for those who are losing their employment, and for their families and colleagues. We have done our best to ensure that the reduction in force has been done in an equitable and respectful way.”

HCMC originally planned to lay off 275 workers --- but the hospital says they were able to cut that number to 131.