Additional Furlough Actions at UW Medicine Clinical Entities

Last week, we shared the difficult news that we took the action to furlough approximately 1,500 individual professional staff and classified non-union team members. We also shared that the University of Washington had initiated impact bargaining with our union partners prior to making individual notifications to classified union employees. Our bargaining has now concluded, and approximately 4,000 of our clinical system classified team members will be impacted. 

As we’ve stated before, these furloughs are a necessary, but very difficult, step to address our unprecedented financial challenges. It is critical that they happen now, prior to when we expect to see increased volumes over the coming weeks and months. These additional furloughs are temporary and allow people to keep their benefits, including health insurance. For additional information, please see the Employee Furlough FAQ located on the UW Medicine Shared Services intranet site.

In addition to furlough savings, we have identified federal funds and state commitments of approximately $180 million and savings of approximately $76 million to help address the major COVID-19 financial impact. The savings have come from our previous actions, including the reduction of compensation for senior leadership, system wide-expense reductions that support more “lean” operations, limiting hiring and new recruitments, and postponement of non-mission critical expenses such as the deferral of capital projects. We continue to seek additional federal support to offset the direct financial impact of COVID-19, and we are continuing work on lean operations.

We are also still seeking employees who would like to take voluntary furloughs or FTE reductions to help mitigate the impact of mandatory furloughs. Those interested must let their managers know by Friday, May 29. More information on how to volunteer can be found here.

We have pulled together across UW Medicine to respond to COVID-19 and to transform the way we deliver healthcare. We are applying that same ingenuity to our current financial challenges, and we will be stronger than ever. With that in mind, we would also like to hear from you. We are looking for your ideas to help identify more opportunities to reduce costs, increase revenue and improve efficiencies. You have a unique perspective that can help us better use resources within our system. Please send your ideas to recoveryideas@uw.edu. No idea is too small, all input is welcome . . . from all staff!

Should you have any questions about today’s announcement, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager, Human Resources Consultant, or your leadership team.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Washington

Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington​

Timothy H. Dellit, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington
President, University of Washington Physicians