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Is Jackson being fair to workers or simply creating a better hospital?

caines | 3/15/2012, 5 a.m.

Its no secret that Jackson Memorial Health Systems has been walking the tightrope to bankruptcy for a number of years. But as the only public hospital that uninsured or critically-wounded Blacks can turn to in Miami-Dade County, the majority of citizens have tended to ignore reality, hoping that a miraculous turnaround was just around the corner. But lets get real when you dont have enough money to pay the bills, you have to cut your cuts. It doesnt matter if you are a family of four, a struggling single parent or a billion dollar corporation. When all is said and done, each of us must find a way to balance the books. Perhaps officials at Jackson forgot about that in recent years; maybe they just werent sure how to proceed. To keep their doors open, its now come down to layoffs something that none of us wants to hear, particularly in these trying economic times. And these arent just numbers that Jackson is talking about, as recent protests by employees have reminded us. We are talking about the heads of families, mothers and fathers, workers whose careers have been forged in emergency rooms or in the service of recovering patients. However, before we yield to romanticizing the situation, lets consider one possibility: maybe Jackson is doing what should have been done years ago trimming excess fat from its employee rosters and getting in step with the ways other urban hospitals have survived and improved services over the last decade. It may hurt their pockets, but workers seem to have one choice: either forgo padded salaries and impressive fringe benefits or face massive layoffs. Meanwhile, some execs may have to add more mundane activities to their list of daily to-dos.