Ochsner Health worker responds to layoffs | News

SHREVEPORT, La. — A now-former Ochsner Health System worker said Thursday’s news of layoffs took him by surprise.

The health system, which operates 47 hospitals across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including one in Shreveport, announced Thursday it would be laying off 770 employees due to rising costs for labor and supplies. The hospital system did not disclose how many of the layoffs would occur locally.

So, workers at Ochsner Health were on edge as these notices started coming down.

“Nobody knew who was safe and who was going to be kept and was not going to be kept,” said a worker who asked to remain anonymous because he didn’t want to put his severance package in jeopardy.

“If they would’ve come to me and asked me, ‘Hey can you do this part-time for half of what we’re paying you right now?’ I absolutely would have done it, but that wasn’t even considered,” he said.

While nearly 800 positions are being cut in Louisiana and Mississippi, the worker knows of 21 people in Shreveport including himself who received notices with a termination date effective July 15.

“They told me yesterday was my last day and made me turn in my badge and my key like I had done something wrong,” he said.

Ochsner said in the separation details handed to employees the decision was not personal and the elimination of positions was part of the restructuring.

In a statement to KTBS Thursday, the hospital said the eliminated positions are primarily in management and non-direct patient care roles, and no physicians were impacted by the reduction. It also emphasized that all laid-off employees will receive full pay and benefits for 65 days.

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