JHS Layoff Plan: The story behind the story

After a thorough analysis of the layoff notifications in the SEIU bargaining unit, a team of SEIU Local 1991 members led by President Martha Baker, RN, has discovered that the massive layoff of 426 RNs at Jackson Memorial Hospital was most likely initiated by a math error.


When Chief Nursing Executive Ric Cuming stated to our team that his methodology for choosing the positions to eliminate and replace with part time jobs was to calculate 30 percent of the total RNs at JMH B list and then lay off that amount, our sharpened pencils quickly figured out that the denominator he used was the number of ALL RNs at JMH, not just those on the B list.

As a result of his miscalculation, instead of creating his stated goal of a 30% part time work force in all the JMH B list units (the absolute limit for safe care according to evidence based research), Cuming has created an average 68% part time work force….with some units as high as 83% (WW5), 90% (WW 6), and 92% (SW 6)!


Equally disturbing is the ripple effect of displacing so many seasoned RNs from specialty units at JMH and bumping them to units throughout the system where they will need 4-8 weeks of orientation training…and then having RNs from Jackson North, Jackson South, Mental Health, Corrections and other locations take positions in JMH specialty units such as transplant, oncology/chemo, telemetry, etc, for which they will need weeks if not months of training….all a great cost (estimated to be $2 million per pay period).

When our team pointed out the error to Cuming, Chief Administrative Office Alex Contreras and Chief Operation Office Don Steigman, it appeared obvious they would have to fix it.  As days passed without a correction, Martha Baker took the issue to Jackson Financial Recovery Board Chairman Marcos Lapciuc and CEO Carlos Migoya on April 12th to explain the error, the dire implications for patient care, and asked that the correction be made before it was too late.  Migoya stated Cuming “has full authority to make the changes.”


Realizing that Cuming was stumped on how to redo the layoff plan, our team went to work and quickly produced a revised JMH RN layoff plan that would minimize bumping, maximize patient care, match staffing to volume, reduce laid off employees, reduce training time and costs, and still meet the budgetary and flexibility goals of management.  The plan is a WIN-WIN-WIN for patients-management-employees.  For details of the plan, click here.

JHS management has told us they are refusing to budge on their disaster plan.  There is still time to implement the revised layoff plan that will stop this deadly game of musical chairs, but time it running out. The music stops in 3 days.


CNE Ric Cuming, CAO Alex Contreras, COO Don Steigman, CEO Carlos Migoya, and Board Chair Marcos Lapciuc all have the authority to do the right thing for our patients.  But they are refusing.  What’s stopping them?!  It’s time for them to reveal the real plan for Jackson.  The public deserves to know.