SEATTLE (AP) – UW Medicine announced furloughs of about 4,000 members of its unionized workforce in spite of the healthcare-system’s position at the forefront of COVID-19 response efforts both locally and globally.

KOMO-TV reports the decision comes a week after the healthcare-system announced that it was furloughing 1,500 professional staff and classified non-union staff to help address the financial challenges caused by COVID-19.

In a statement, officials said it was necessary to address a $500 million financial impact COVID-19 has placed on UW Medicine.

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