04/02/2013 10:02 EDT | Updated 06/02/2013 05:12 EDT

MUHC slashes over 100 jobs in face of major deficit

Over 100 employees are losing their jobs at the McGill University Health Centre as the health network grapples with its major deficit.

On Tuesday morning, MUHC staff members received a notice outlining a series of budget cuts aimed at reducing a deficit which was expected to reach up to $115 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

As part of those cuts, 151 full-time and part-time positions will be eliminated.

As well, 13 manager positions will be lost, along with 131 positions that are currently vacant.

Unionized staff who are affected by the job cuts may be able to bump other employees with less seniority or apply for vacant positions.

In the notice, MUHC head Normand Rinfret said cost-reductions would be made across the health network.

“What our deficit situation has made clear is that no area of the MUHC can be exempt from evaluation; there is always room for improvement,” he stated.

Richard Fahey, the MUHC’s director of public affairs, says the cuts follow demands from the Quebec government.

The statement released to MUHC staff explains that the province is asking the MUHC to come up with an action plan to find $21.4 million in "clinical efficiencies" savings by May 1.

That plan will be implemented over the next two years. The health centre is already in the process of making $28.8 million worth of cuts.

Rinfret said he remains optimistic, despite the challenges his organization is facing.

“I know everyone’s morale has taken a beating lately, and I am sorry that we’re in this situation,” he said.

“We’ve had to make tough decisions and we have more to make.”

MUHC head sends out staff notice