UTMB Layoffs

Like every other state agency and state facility, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is eliminating jobs and laying people off because of operating losses and budget cuts. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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With about thirteen thousand employees, UTMB is the largest employer in Galveston, but about one thousand of those jobs will be eliminated, in a strategy that's aimed at cutting expenses and generating new income. President Dr. John Stobo says UTMB is able to pay its bills -- but it has almost no money left over for future needs and goals.

"We've been able to generate enough income to get by on a year to year basis. That hasn't been an issue. But what is an issue is that we haven't been able to get above that to have the wherewithal to invest strategically in our future."

Dr. Stobo says they have no choice but to make cuts in other areas, which means cutting jobs and people through normal attrition and with layoffs.

"Some individuals are close to retirement and will retire, or are in the process of leaving the institution, or for a variety of reasons they will leave. But I would say the majority will be jobs that we have to close, and so those people will no longer have those positions."

UTMB is a state-supported institution that provides inpatient and outpatient care, does research and trains doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. This isn't the first time UTMB has had to cut jobs. In 2003, it eliminated 800 jobs when faced with a $50 million budget cut. In 1998 and early 1999, about 560 positions were cut to stem financial losses. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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