GE is a name that you may be well familiar with, but you may not be aware of GE Health, so before we talk about the job cuts made by the company we are going to take a look at how the division which will be bearing the brunt of those cuts has chosen to describe themselves, “Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.”
Sadly the company is getting ready to cut back on about 50 jobs in the state of Vermont as a cost cutting measure. Job cuts of this magnitude are more than enough to qualify as a mass layoff action under the current federal guidelines. For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of a mass layoff action here is a look at how the company chooses to describe itself, “The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.” The only good news, if the company does manage to trigger a mass layoff action, is that they will have to give the workers several weeks of notice about the job cuts to come.
Interestingly enough the company chose to highlight in its most recent device approval instead of talking about the changes that the company is making to its staffing, ” The main challenges of cardiac imaging – coronary motion, calcium blooming, plaque composition and accurate myocardial perfusion – will now have the opportunity to be addressed in Canada following Health Canada’s clearance of GE’s Discovery* CT750 HD FREEdom Edition. The Discovery* CT750 HD FREEdom Edition is designed to provide a new level of cardiac CT performance and represents a three-prong solution to these challenges: • Motion FREEdom, with intelligent motion correction via SnapShot* Freeze • Calcium FREEdom, with enhanced coronary visualization using Gemstone* Spectral Imaging (GSI) Cardiac • Horizon FREE opportunities, going beyond today’s clinical information with plaque material composition assessment and information for accurate perfusion calculations.”
Note: Since the publication of this article a representative of the company sent the following statement to this reporter:
“Of our employees in Vermont, approximately 10% will be impacted. This represents less than 2% of our total Healthcare IT population in the US. While GE Healthcare regrets the loss of any job, the business needs to make tough decisions in the current economic climate.
GE Healthcare IT is maintaining its focus on the needs of integrated care delivery and supporting our installed base. As part of our strategy, we are making choices to redeploy some portions of our resources and capital into new areas of product and service innovation.
While these types of decisions are never easy in the near term, we are confident that they are necessary to meet the current and future needs of our customers.
We will endeavor to find alternative roles to mitigate any job losses, so it’s not possible to say how many jobs may be lost. If an employee has not found an alternate role when their role is scheduled to be eliminated, they will be eligible for various benefits including income extension aid, medical care coverage, and job training/tuition reimbursement to assist in their transition.
For context, since 2009, GE has created 15,500 new U.S. jobs.”GE Healthcare to Cut Jobs by Harrison Barnes