More than a thousand WBAMC employees to see pay cuts

Monica Cortez/KTSM

POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 7:04am

Sequestration is trickling down to the borderland. Fort bliss will be getting ready to notify more than a thousand people that they may be seeing a reduction in hours at William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

More than 1,600 employees will be affected by these budget cuts. This comes after congress failed to reach compromise on how to spend government dollars.

And now employees at WBAMC will be experiencing a dramatic change.

"With me having to take that one day off per week, that means when I am here those four days, I going to really be hustling to get everything done," said Laminta Cole, a Beaumont employee.

Starting July 8th, WBAMC employees like Cole will see a reduction in hours, which would mean a twenty percent pay cut.

Commander of Beaumont COL. Michael Heimall said this means about twenty percent of staff will be gone on any given day.

"With civilian doctors being out of the office one day a week, because of the furloughs, most of our patients are going to have to see other providers who are on that health care team,” he said.

And the Chief of Clinical Operations said his staff will work to ensure patients don't see too much difference during this hard time.

"We are able to maneuver some of the things at the hospital so we are able to see them on a continuous basis,” said Chief of Clinical Operation Jason Ling. “So I think the patients may not see a huge change in the time frame, but it’s definitely affecting our employees."

COL. HEIMALL said out of the 2,300 employees working at the hospital, only 430 will be completely exempt from these furloughs. This decision was made so that the hospital could continue operation.

But patients could feel the pain with longer wait times, especially at the pharmacy.

"I suspect many of our patients will notice the change particularly at the pharmacy window… So service in those areas in particular will slow down," he said.

The furloughs will end at the close of the fiscal year 2013 on September 30.

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