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Portland's Mercy Hospital Lays Off 31 Employees

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Mercy Hospital has laid off 31 of its nearly 1,500 employees almost two months after it offered retirement buyouts to 99 people.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Portland hospital cut workers in building maintenance, housekeeping, environmental services and other clinical and administrative positions.

No doctors or nurses were affected by the move. But some nurses were eligible for the buyouts.

Mercy spokesman Wayne Clark says the layoffs were necessary because not enough people accepted the early-retirement offer. The early-retirement incentive was accepted by 47 people.

Those laid off will receive at least six to 10 weeks of severance pay depending on how many years they worked for the hospital.