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Catholic Health to furlough up to 1,200 workers

Catholic Health will furlough up to 1,200 employees in an attempt to offset losses of up to $45 million in monthly revenue as the Covid-19 outbreak batters the system's finances.

The temporary unpaid leaves are set to begin Sunday and the system will reevaluate them after 30 days, according to a Catholic Health statement Thursday.

The furloughs apply to both management and nonmanagement employees across the Catholic Health system.

Catholic Health officials said the furloughs will not affect patient care or treatment of coronavirus cases.

Furloughed workers will continue to receive their benefits and will be eligible for unemployment while on leave.

Catholic Health said it negotiated the terms of the furlough program with unions that represent its workers but did not immediately break down how many of the 1,200 are union members. The Buffalo-based health care system has about 10,000 employees.

With elective surgeries largely banned and emergency room visits and other requests for medical services down, and with institutions spending millions of dollars on equipment in response to Covid-19, hospitals here and across the country face steep financial losses.

The Catholic Health furlough announcement comes one day after Kaleida Health revealed it had offered voluntary furloughs to 8,000 of its unionized workers.

Last week, Catholic Health said it was cutting the pay of CEO Mark Sullivan and other senior leaders by 20% as part of a first step to stem the system's revenue decline.

Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and other hospitals across the state also have announced furloughs in recent weeks.

Furloughs, pay cuts come as Covid-19 batters health care industry

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