OHSU unions slam layoffs 


Publicly owned Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is laying off over 400 employees even as it plans a $1 billion acquisition of a private health system and pours cash into executive compensation.

According to public notices filed June 7, OHSU will permanently eliminate 142 research and other contract jobs as of Aug. 9 as part of an “annual renewal process.” Some of those workers are represented by Oregon AFSCME. Then on July 1, OHSU announced the elimination of another 297 positions as a result of its “strategic realignment process.” The second set of layoffs would include members of AFSCME Local 328 and Oregon Nurses Association (ONA). 

The same day that second set of layoffs were announced, OHSU put an extra $350,000 a year into the retirement account of its president, Danny Jacobs. Jacobs’ base salary is $1.64 million a year, and he was already getting $161,000 a year in retirement contributions.

OHSU reported that it lost $64 million in the last year. 

The layoff notices came within a month of OHSU’s announcement that it intends to purchase non-profit Legacy Health, a seven-hospital system based in Portland. For that merger to take place, it has to be approved by state and federal regulators. 

Oregon AFSCME also reports that in contract bargaining, OHSU is proposing cuts in health benefits. 

Members of AFSCME and ONA packed the June 28 meeting of OHSU’s Board to oppose the cuts. But the Board took no action in response, and passed a budget that included the layoffs plus the elimination of 143 vacant positions. 


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