Protesters against privatizing Columbia County nursing home

Source: CBS 6 Albany, June 11, 2014

Opponents of privatizing a Columbia County nursing home are making their voices heard again. For weeks, residents have been protesting the privatizing of Pine Haven Nursing home, voting back in April to cancel construction on a new facility and taking bids from buyers. On Wednesday, the Columbia County board of supervisors voted to gather more information and accept proposals for privatization. On Thursday a labor union representative will present cost saving measures to the Pine Haven subcommittee…
Pine Haven privatization talks prompt petition
Source: Joe Gentile, Columbia-Greene Media, May 7, 2014

Pine Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Philmont may not be up for bid, but critics of the county-run nursing home’s proposed sale say portions of it were made ripe for the picking. Shawn Morse, a United Public Service Employees Union labor relations representative, said unionized Pine Haven employees felt “blindsided” long before Board of Supervisors Chairman Pat Grattan, R-Kinderhook, announced the suspension of design work on the new Pine Haven on April 10. It began in early March, after Pine Haven Director Art Proper issued a request for proposals essentially privatizing the facility’s dining, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services. Minutes from the board’s Health and Medical Services Committee meeting, held March 18, showed Proper’s request retracted. … Proposals had initially been scheduled to be opened and read at Pine Haven on March 25, according to a legal notice published by the Register-Star, dated March 6. Now a petition opposing any attempts at privatizing Pine Haven has attracted nearly 620 signatures to date. … Last September, Proper told Health and Medical Services Committee members the county could outsource the facility’s kitchen, laundry and maintenance departments to Healthcare Services Group Inc. for a preliminary savings calculated by the Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based company. Meeting minutes stated the company’s calculations assumed the inclusion of Healthcare Services Group employees, “so we are renegotiating wages and becoming Healthcare Services Group employees.”…

Supervisors consider privatizing Pine Haven
Source: Nathan Mayberg, Hudson-Catskill Newspapers, April 3, 2013

The Columbia County Board of Supervisors are considering privatizing the Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. …Supervisor Michael Benson, R-New Lebanon and chairman of the board’s Public Works Committee, floated the proposal last week following the announcement the county received bids for the architectural design to build a new Pine Haven facility, ranging from $1.44 million to $1.88 million. The total project cost, including construction, is estimated to be more than $32 million, plus interest, which could bring the total expense to $46 million…. Supervisor Art Baer, NOP-Hillsdale, said there is a philosophical question about dealing with the county’s safety net population. “Once it becomes privatized, the safety net is diluted,” Baer said….