Created: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 05:07:00 EST
Updated: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:56:28 EST
Employees at the Medical Center of Central Georgia are feeling the pinch as Bibb County's largest employer figures out how to close a $13 million budget shortfall.
MCCG Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Perry confirmed Thursday that starting with the next pay period, employees at the hospital and related companies will not earn any new paid annual leave time.
The freeze will be in effect for the next six pay periods and will cost most employees two to three vacation days.
Perry said the Medical Center estimates it will save the company from $700,000 to $800,000 per pay period, or from $4 million to $5 million total.
WGXA spoke to several employees outside the Medical Center, and they all said while they weren't happy to lose vacation time, they saw it as preferable to having people lose their jobs.
Perry said employees will still be able to take time off that they earned in the past, and there is already a system in place for employees who need emergency leave.
The freeze runs from July 21 through Oct. 13.
The money-saving idea was suggested by an employee who had heard of a similar procedure at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. MCCG managers were surprised at the size of the savings.
By mid-August, the hospital is expected to reveal a full plan to deal with the $13 million shortfall. The Medical Center is already under a hiring feeze and has renegotiated contracts with several vendors.
Central Georgia Health Systems employs nearly 5,000 people.