Clovis News

Saint Agnes Medical Center plans to lay off 129

Saint Agnes Medical Center on Thursday gave a tally for the number of employees it will lay off: 129.

The hospital had announced reductions Wednesday, saying that 150 employees would be affected by layoffs and reduced hours, but the number of layoffs was not specified.

On Thursday, the hospital said that 21 employees would see their hours reduced.

The loss of 129 employees will be among the largest recent private-sector layoffs in the Fresno area. Schneider Electric, owner of Clovis-based Pelco, let go more than 150 Pelco employees in two rounds of layoffs last year, and another 30 jobs were eliminated this April.

At Saint Agnes, the affected employees work in positions throughout the facility, hospital spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez said Thursday.

The hospital cited lower government reimbursements, a weakened economy and health reform for the labor reductions.

But despite layoffs, the hospital is hiring, Sanchez said.

"We don't have a hiring freeze," she said. "We have several positions open that we are actively recruiting for, and many of those are in patient care."

The hospital is making sure it has the "right resources in the right places to make sure we take care of our patients," she said.

Saint Agnes also plans to open a sixth floor in the north wing this fall. The $16.8 million expansion will add 28 private medical/surgical beds and an eight-bed intensive care unit, allowing the hospital to reduce waiting times in the emergency department, Sanchez said.

Saint Agnes has about 2,800 employees. The hospital is owned by Michigan-based Trinity Health.