2 Cape Cod Hospitals Furlough 600 Workers for a Month

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Hundreds of workers at two hospitals on Cape Cod will go without pay for a month.

Furloughs of 600 staffers at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, including nurses, nurses' aides, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will begin Sunday.

"Did not see it coming," said Shannon Sherman, a registered nurse at Cape Cod Hospital. "Utterly disgusted."

She worries patients could suffer.

"These cuts are for direct care," Sherman said. "These are people that are putting their hands on the patients."

Bedside nurses and those on the front line fighting the pandemic are being spared, according to hospital management.

But about 10% of the entire workforce will be furloughed for a month.

"We can't do our job as nurses without the support of the staff around us," Sherman said.

Cape Cod Healthcare says it's expecting to lose $74 million this year because of the current economic situation.

Besides the furloughs, management will take pay cuts ranging from 5% to 12.5%.

"Today was a bad day for Cape Cod Healthcare," CEO Mike Lauf said Friday. "I never thought in my 12 years here I would have to do what I did today."

Sherman, who's also a union co-chair, says the furloughs come at an extremely difficult time, not just because of the pandemic, but also because this is when patient count starts to go up with more people on the Cape for the summer.

"This is just not the time to be doing this at all," she said.

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