Dear Colleagues,
The Bank of Canada recently announced that Canada is in an economic recession. I think that we all listen to the reports of reduced activity in the Ontario economy and feel concern for Ontarians who risk losing their job.

Your Senior Management Team recognizes that provincial revenues are going to shrink in the months to come and that this will likely affect hospital budgets. In dealing with reduced revenues, we will adhere to the following three principles: 
1) we will avoid deficits; 
2) we will maintain clinical activity at budgeted levels; 
3) we will avoid involuntary job loss. In this message I want to outline what we are going to do to ensure that we avoid involuntary job loss.

The first step is to absolutely minimize external hiring for vacant positions at UHN. We anticipate that some roles in UHN may disappear as a result of budget measures- and we want to ensure that staff with roles that are eliminated can move into new positions. In order to use those vacancies it is essential that we place people within the organization rather than searching outside UHN. In rare instances we may need someone with a special skill not currently available in our hospital. However for the foreseeable future, external hires will require approval from the Senior Management Executive Team (myself, Emma Pavlov, Catherine Zahn or Justine Jackson). We realize that requiring this level of approval for external hires is unusual- but this step is crucial to ensuring that we keep positions for our staff.

The next initiative to avoid job loss is to ensure that we offer training to fill vacancies within UHN. For example we know that most of our ONA vacancies in the hospital are in the Critical Care areas. We will make sure that we train RN’s to fill these vacancies so that we do not need to go outside the organization to hire.

Finally, I want to emphasize how important it is to eliminate overtime. If we reduced overtime by 80%, we would accomplish all of our financial goals without any other initiative. Our recruitment and retention programs over the past few years have been very effective and we now are “staffed up” in most areas. Overtime wears out our staff and threatens jobs. Our managers and directors will be watching overtime very closely to ensure that we schedule staff effectively and eliminate overtime as a drain on our resources.

We learned during the 90’s and during SARS that protecting our staff is crucial to the long-term health of this hospital and to the benefit of our patients. As we work through the next period of budget instability we will learn from the past and avoid involuntary departures.

Bob​

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