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Union not happy with hospital layoffs


The union representing 11 to-be-laid off Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center employees disagrees with the hospital’s decision to cut the jobs even though the workers have been offered employment by the Massachusetts firm to which they were outsourced.

On Sept. 10, Burlington-based Nuance will take on the transcriptionist positions. Hospital spokeswoman Laura C. Shea said the job entails transferring patient information from the doctor to patient files.

Ms. Shea said the change is a “trade-off” of less cost for the hospital for improved quality of service and quicker turnaround time for transcriptions.

The outsourced employees can work from home, should they accept the offer from Nuance. Mrs. Shea said she had not yet heard how many of the 11 employees had accepted the offer.

“We’re not happy about it,” Service Employees International Union Local 1199 hospital delegate Lawrence M. Tombolillo said Wednesday.

Mr. Tombolillo said the hospital first discussed outsourcing in summer 2012 and reached a decision to do so in July.

The hospital asked Nuance to offer the now-unionless employees the jobs, which he appreciates.

To a point.

“Basically, this is a layoff,” Mr. Tombolillo said.

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center laid off 14 employees in 2012 as part of what hospital officials called a long-term strategy to shore up the medical center’s finances and bring staffing in line with patient demand.

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