Vidant announces salary cuts, furloughs in response to COVID-19

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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Eastern North Carolina’s largest health care provider, Vidant Health, announced significant cost-cutting measures Wednesday, including furloughs, reductions in compensation and fewer shifts for Vidant staff members.

The announcement Wednesday follows the elimination of 191 positions across the system in early March, including seven at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, in response to an $18 million budget shortfall.

“Similar to health care organizations across the country undergoing challenges due to COVID-19, Vidant is experiencing a significant decrease in volumes, which is impacting revenue,” reads a release from the healthcare system. “To meet the real impact of COVID-19, the organization must take immediate action and adjust its workforce structure in order to support the changes in operational needs.”

Effective Sunday, all Vidant employees will see reductions in their salaries across the board, with the biggest cuts coming at the top. Salaries will be reduced by the following amounts, according to the release:

  • CEO — 25%
  • Chief and President — 20%
  • Vice President — 15%
  • Administrator — 10%
  • Director — 7.5%
  • Manager — 5%
  • Exempt Team Member — 2.5%

The healthcare system further announced that employer contributions to retirement funds will be cut by 50%. The changes will also include reductions in shifts and schedule changes. The release did not indicate whether the cuts will be temporary or permanent.

“This is a financially challenging time for all health systems throughout the country. It’s even more challenging for rural health care where there hasn’t been enough effort made to address the unique realities we already face,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health. “We must take these necessary actions to ensure Vidant is able to continue to meet its mission now and into the future.”

Vidant Health employs more than 14,000 people, and its services span 29 counties in eastern North Carolina, including hospitals in Ahoskie, Edenton, Greenville, Kenansville, Nags Head, Roanoke Rapids, Tarboro, Washington and Windsor.

A member of the Vidant Health Communications team said the organization is not releasing additional information on the cuts at this time.