The Lafayette Parish School system needs to fill a few gaps. The district has seen an increase in employee retirements and resignations. A fair share of the blame is being attributed to changes due to state mandates. Something similar is taking place at the University Medical Center in Lafayette. The hospital is about to join forces with Lafayette General Medical Center. UMC Hospital Administrator, Glenn Craig says 700 employees will have to reapply for their jobs.
On June 23, the University Medical Center will no longer operate as a public hospital. On June 24, UMC will function as a partner hospital with Lafayette General. Craig says the move is part of LSU Hospitals response to a shortage of Medicaid funds. “Our employees will no longer be state employees. They will have the opportunity to apply for positions with Lafayette General.””
The swinging door at UMC will hit hardest for employees nearing retirement. That's where the Lafayette Parish School System comes into play. UMC employees will no longer be state workers; causing their retirement plan to change. Working for the school system will allow them to maintain what vested retirement time they may have. “This is a natural fit for them; for employees who want to serve out their additional time they need in the state retirement system.”
An accelerated teacher certification program is being made available. Within about a year employees with a bachelor's degree could become classroom teachers. “We are a teaching hospital. So, a lot of our employees in the job that their doing now have been teaching all along; a different kind of teaching, but teaching never the less.” explains Craig.
UMC says the accelerated program is being supported by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, ULL and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. On April 11, the parish school system will return to UMC to host an employee job fair.