Employees, lawmakers and NAACP question ECU Physicians and Vidant merger

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – More than 100 people attended a meeting Wednesday night in Greenville speaking out against the merger between ECU Physicians and Vidant Medical Group.

Since news of the merge was first announced over the summer, employees say they haven’t been given many answers.

“We have been loyal to ECU, but we feel like ECU hasn’t been really loyal to us,” said Martina Christie, who recently retired after 29 years at ECU.

Christie said earlier this week, they met with ECU leadership to ask questions about the merge. However, she said any answers given were vague.

“Nobody knows anything about it,” Christie said. “Are they going to have to apply for new jobs for their old jobs?”

But it isn’t just employees who are concerned. State lawmakers feel as if they were circumvented in the process.

“If you have the best intentions, then why all the secrecy,” asked Sen. Don Davis.

Wednesday’s meeting was put on by the State Employee’s Association of North Carolina (SEANC), who are worried about the 1,200 ECU Physicians employees who could be impacted.

“They have the possibility of losing their retirement, their medical, their vacation, and some of them may end up losing their jobs,” said SEANC President Stanley Drewery.

Drewery said they asked to participate in the meetings between ECU Physicians and Vidant Medical Group, but were told they couldn’t.

“They said they would notify us after a decision was made. We feel like that would be too late,” Drewery said.

Due to complaints filed, the state NAACP is now looking into whether the merger violates any state or federal laws.

In our original report in July, ECU and Vidant leadership said the merger would help improve healthcare in the entire region.

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