Union: Layoffs at Regional Hospital of Scranton

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SCRANTON -- On the heels of the announcement that a hospital in Scranton is buying one of the region's largest ambulance services, the union that represents workers at that hospital confirmed employees are being laid off.

SEIU Healthcare PA officials said those layoffs came last week.

Neither those union officials nor officials with Regional Hospital of Scranton on Jefferson Avenue could tell Newswatch 16 how many employees have been laid off.

But a hospital spokesperson said the cutbacks are not related to the hospital's finances.

According to officials from SEIU Healthcare PA representing employees at Regional Hospital of Scranton, the recent layoffs came from a wide range of departments, a few employees from many different areas of the hospital, including management. But the union said it's still not sure how many people lost their jobs.

Commonwealth Health owns and manages Regional Hospital of Scranton, which used to be known as Mercy Hospital. Officials for Commonwealth Health would not comment on the layoffs, calling them "job cutbacks" instead.

They said they're cutting back in some departments in relation to the number of patients, not because of any financial problems.

All this comes at the same time that Commonwealth Health announced plans to buy Lackawanna Ambulance, one of the largest ambulance services in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Commonwealth Health said that, as a part of the deal, all employees at Lackawanna Ambulance will keep their jobs when the sale goes through.

Officials with Commonwealth Health say the purchase of Lackawanna Ambulance should be finalized in September, but they couldn't tell Newswatch 16 how much they are spending on it.