UI Health Care seeks voluntary pay cuts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI Health Care seeks voluntary pay cuts

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Like most businesses, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is looking to cut costs. Its budget gap is $40 million, which needs to be closed by July.

Here's a look at the plan:

First, a voluntary temporary reduction in pay, it can be done in percentage increments, up to 5-percent.

Next, voluntary vacation give back - employees can give back vacation days.

Nothing is off the table. That's what UI Health Care management is telling its employees about the options they're looking at to balance the budget. While the measures that came down Tuesday are voluntary, there's no guarantee that will be in the case in a few weeks.

Jean Robillard spent much of his Tuesday explaining two voluntary programs to employees to help close a 40 million dollar budget gap.

"First of all, I think the employees want to participate, want to have an opportunity to help the institution," said Robillard, Vice President for medical affairs at UI Health Care.

"I think voluntary is the best way to start out for sure," said surgeon Jeremy Greenlee.

Greenlee has worked at UI Hospitals for more than a decade. He says he will consider participating in the program if he can get a specific answer about how the money will be used.

"I mean everybody's kinda strapped now it seems like so I think it's difficult to get people willing to give up their take home money I would think," said Greenlee.

UI Health Care has been dealing with serious financial trouble for the past eight months. This is just the latest attempt to battle expenses. Robillard wants any workers interested in participating to enroll by the end of the month.

"There is no guarantee," said Robillard. "This is to mitigate the problem that we have. And if we have to go to other measures, we will have to go to other measures, but clearly this measure will decrease the impact of the other measures if we have to go that route."

Not everyone is thrilled with this latest idea. Another surgeon called the voluntary program ridiculous. So there's clearly a gap of opinions...rivaling the financial gap facing UI Health Care.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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