OUR Vanderbilt Group Demonstrates Against Job Cuts - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

OUR Vanderbilt Group Demonstrates Against Job Cuts

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By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A group of people with ties to Vanderbilt University demonstrated against proposed job cuts at the medical center.

Two dozen people with the grassroots group OUR Vanderbilt held signs outside the Medical Center North building early Wednesday evening.

University leaders planned to cut more than 1,000 employees from the medical center by the end of 2013.

"Laying off upwards of 1,500 employees is not acceptable," said Benjamin Eagles with OUR Vanderbilt. "We're calling for an end to the layoffs." 

The group of demonstrators was made up of former medical center employees, and several students.

Sherry Melton was terminated in July after 13 years as a nurse at Vanderbilt. Administrators said that round of cuts was made because of performance, not budgetary reasons.

"I was like, how can that be, because my evaluation's good, I haven't done wrong," Melton said.

She said she has applied for over 100 jobs, but was still out of work.

"I just wish Vanderbilt could have been as loyal to me, as I was to them," Melton.

The cuts, which started with 275 employees in September, were part of a plan to reduce the medical center's budget by $250 million over the next two fiscal years.

At the end of the year, through layoffs and retirements, the medical center was expected to reduce its workforce by nearly 1,500 people.

"Clearly these were hard working men and women that contributed to the operations of the hospital, so it seems like a stretch that the hospital could continues without any changes," Eagles said.

A medical center spokeswoman said they would not have a comment on Wednesday's demonstration.

During an interview with NewsChannel 5 two weeks ago, a spokesman said the job cuts would not affect patient care at the university's hospitals.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ChrisCannon
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_ChrisCannon


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