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155 laid off at Westchester Medical Center

January 9, 2012 6:01:17 AM PST
A bomb was dropped in the form of a pink slip at the Westchester Medical Center where 155 workers were laid off Thursday.

The layoffs come just weeks after 250 employees were let go, half of them nurses at the main hospital.

This time the cuts are at the behavioral health center.

No nurses, but psychiatric social workers, therapists and aides all let go in a cost cutting move.

A private company is taking over the facility.

Liberty Healthcare plans to reduce staffing levels and has invited union employees to reapply for their jobs, but at much lower salaries.

Westchester Medical Center has been trying to close a $60 million deficit.

Its CEO says the agreement will allow the hospital to: deal with a very challenging national fiscal situation caused by various factors, including reduced Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

But workers say patient care, and even staff safety, will be affected.

It's unlikely that this is the end of the cuts.

The medical center is still $30 million in the red.

Employees are bracing for even more layoffs.

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