Source: By Ellen Gedalius, The Tampa Tribune (FL), December 20, 2007
TAMPA – Chanting “No justice, no peace!” more than 30 union workers, including several city employees, protested outside city hall this morning.
They said Mayor Pam Iorio shouldn’t proceed with plans to lay off 100 employees.
In November, Iorio announced 100 people likely would lose their jobs next year when the city privatizes some services. About 50 security officers and 38 janitors are among those targeted.
Source: By John Miller, Dollars & Sense (subscription req.), September/October 2007
Accelerated offshore outsourcing, the shipping of jobs overseas to take advantage of low wages, has forced some mainstream economists and some elements of the business press to have second thoughts about “free trade.”
Source: By GREGORY N. HEIRES, Public Employee Press (NY), November 2007
About 40 Local 375 members who were laid off in the budget crisis of 2003 have returned to the School Construction Authority, capping a long campaign by the union to win back their jobs.
….. The authority’s failure to meet its legal obligation to assign 40 percent of its design, drafting and inspection to in-house staff was at the core of the lawsuit. For years, the local had contended that SCA was not meeting that requirement; the suit showed the union was right.
Source: Nebraska.tv, Dec 19, 2007 10:37 AM
State Auditor Mike Foley has released a list (.pdf) of over 800 vendors paid $500,000 and above by the State of Nebraska during Fiscal Year 07. In addition, the Auditor has released a list of University and State personnel with a gross income of over $100,000 during Fiscal Year 07, beginning July 1, 2006 and ending June 30, 2007.
Source: Landline Magazine, December 18, 2007
In hopes of tapping into public-private partnerships to build highways in Nevada, a special panel created by the governor has decided to call on state lawmakers to make it happen.
The study committee, created by Gov. Jim Gibbons, recommended asking the Nevada Legislature to authorize pursuing deals with private groups to build highways.
Source: By Paige St. John, Tallahassee Democrat (FL), December 19, 2007
As an audit committee attempts to unravel how Florida became so heavily invested in subprime-tainted securities, the state’s new investment chief is considering leaving such future decisions to professionals.
Florida already seeks to privatize management of what remains of its $12 billion local government investment pool, after revelations it contained defaulted securities caused its near collapse.
……… Private management has already come at a cost — the fund’s new interim managers charge up to $39 for every $10,000 invested, compared to $1.50 formerly charged by the state.
Source: By Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal (KY), Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A state audit found no evidence of savings in the state Medicaid program promised by the administration of former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who claimed Medicaid reform as one of his top accomplishments in his failed re-election bid.
…… Luallen, a Democrat, said her office waited until after the Nov. 6 election to release the audit so it would not become an issue in the governor’s race.
……. Medicaid spends about $300 million a year on three private contractors to process claims, manage information, operate a call system for members and operate its prescription drug program. But until recently they operated with little oversight or accountability.
In July, Medicaid hired an outside company, Accenture, to monitor the three other outside contractors — even though Texas fired that company last year for poor performance on a contract.
…….. State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, a Lexington Democrat on the Health and Welfare Committee, said he’s concerned about the growth in outside contractors for the Medicaid program listed in the audit report.
“I think the only winners are the outside vendors who have made money off the state,” he said.
Source: Richard C. Feiock, James C. Clinger, Manoj Shrestha, and Carl Dasse, State & Local Government Review (subscription req.), Vol. 39, No. 1 (2007)
Whether organizations should contract out for goods and services or produce them internally continues to be a subject of debate. Service contracting patterns in cities may be explained by the characteristics of goods and services and the extent of political and administrative uncertainty in city leadership. Turnover in executive leadership can affect the ability of local governments to negotiate contracts, make credible commitments to suppliers, and faithfully uphold and enforce contracts. When transaction costs resulting from turnover are high, contracting out becomes less likely. The results of this study show that both city manager turnover and certain service types significantly reduce the likelihood of service contracting, particularly with private, for-profit providers.
Source: By Becky Pallack, Arizona Daily Star, Published: 12.08.2007
About 500 Pima County caregivers must look for a new employer — but they’ll be doing the same jobs. Pima County is cutting their positions at Pima Health System as it privatizes some home-health support services.
…… The workers likely will be paid more and receive benefits, which weren’t part of their contracts with the county. Independent agencies can pay more because “they’re very competitive and very much want to retain their workers,” Siemsen said. The attendant caregivers were among Pima County employees who voted to join Service Employees International Union Local 5 in April.
Source: By JED GRAHAM, Investors Business Daily, December 10, 2007
The era of big government has made a strong comeback since the late 1990s, but federal payrolls have barely budged. The real growth has come in the hiring of contractors. Sen. Hillary Clinton says she would end that as president. She has proposed cutting 500,000 government contractors, claiming it would save $10 billion to $18 billion a year.
But independent analyses suggest the plan could hurt mission-critical work or boost costs if the government does the work. In Iraq alone, contractors — many of them Iraqi — outnumber troops by about 180,000 to 160,000.
…….. “Her appeal is much less to the public and much more to labor organizations such as AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees),” he [Paul Light] said. Indeed, at an AFSCME-sponsored debate earlier this year, Clinton made a strong pitch. “I stood with AFSCME against the privatization of Social Security,” she said, “and now I want to stand with you against the privatization of our government.”