Category Archives: Insourcing/municipalization

District to dump its food services / School workers could run meal program

Source: BY CHASTITY PRATT DAWSEY, Detroit FREE PRESS (MI), May 9, 2008

The food program provided to Detroit Public Schools students could soon be served, as well as managed, by school employees.

The Detroit Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday night to allow the contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark Educational Services, LLC to expire on June 30. Aramark has managed the $44-million food-services operation since 2001.

……. The vote came after at least a year of lobbying and protests staged by union employees who argued that DPS employees could do a better and cheaper job of running the food services.

….. Aramark President Dennis Maple wrote in a May 6 letter to Calloway that DPS should stick with his company. He also offered to work under contract to help transition to in-house management by employees.

What Have Unions Got to Do with Reverse Privatization?

Source: Cathy-Soleil Cyr-Racine and Patrice Jalette, Journal of Collective Negotiations, Vol. 31, no. 4, 2007
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Anecdotal evidence shows that unions contribute to reverse privatization, but their role in the process is far from clear. The reverse privatization process, and unions’ involvement and capacity to influence it, was extensively studied in four reverse privatization experiences in two Canadian municipalities.

The experiences analyzed show that unions acted pragmatically, quite a different image from that depicted in the literature as a one-track-minded opponent of privatization. In all the experiences studied, internal knowledge regarding data collection and computing cost figures was a key union input in the reverse privatization process.

These case studies show that public unions can definitely bring value added to the decision-making process regarding public service delivery by reducing local governments’ expenses and preventing the waste of taxpayers’ money.

ERB Ruling On Mental Health Stay Request

Source: AFSCME Local 3694, Josephine County, OR, Feb 22, 2008

This is an update on ERB Unfair Labor Practice ruling. To review, the Employment Relations Board (ERB) ruled in October that the Josephine County Board of Commissioners (Ellis, Riddle, and Raffenburg) illegally privatized Mental Health in 2006 and committed an Unfair Labor Practice in the process. This ruling only spoke to why the BCC chose to privatize the programs, not if there were other valid reasons for privatizing. ERB ruled the violations of the law were “egregious” and “flagrant.”

The ERB Order included a half dozen main components, including back due compensation to employees as well as returning the programs to the County.

Oregon Employment Relations Board Case UP-26-06

Some privatization fails the 'cheaper, better' test

Source: Bill Cotterell, Tallahassee Democrat (FL), February 25, 2008

The whole idea behind privatization is that it’s supposed to be cheaper and better than having state employees do something.

Not one or the other, but both. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

And when that happens, the test of a good administrator is to admit it and try something else. Politically, that’s not always easy.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, for instance, wants to take over some staffing at three nursing homes that were opened with private nursing-assistant and kitchen employees during the administration of Gov. Jeb Bush. This is the latest example of something that looked good at the time, but apparently didn’t work out precisely as planned.

Bush always advocated the “cheaper and better” idea, but his private-sector background and barely concealed disdain for most things governmental tilted any evaluation toward the outcome he wanted.

Bus contracts pulled by PVSD

Source: By Donna Beutler, Whitewood Herald, December 3rd, 2007

It was bad news for private school bus owners who will no longer be in the business of providing bus service for students in the Prairie Valley School Division (PVSD) following the board’s decision to have its own fleet of buses in operation by August of 2008. The motion was supported by six board members and opposed by four.

Private bus owners were shocked to hear the news that the decision had been made at special meeting of the board on November 23rd and according to local bus owners like Les Beutler and Kevin White last Thursday when The Herald spoke to them, they had not yet been notified of the decision by the Prairie Valley office.

School Construction Authority / Back on the job!

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.

Oversight group would be part of deprivatization

Source: By David Siders, The Record/Public Services International (CA), November 30, 2007

STOCKTON – A city panel Thursday endorsed a plan for the transfer of Stockton’s water and sewer utilities from private to municipal control, promising in the transition’s oversight to involve activists who sued the city to undo its privatization deal.

If approved next month by the City Council, the plan would establish an oversight group including labor groups, activists and the council’s water panel, the body that recommended the plan Thursday.

Beyond the market versus planning dichotomy: Understanding privatisation and its reverse in US cities

Source: Amir Hefetz & Mildred Warner, Local Government Studies, Special Issue: Local Government Reform: Privatisation and Public – Private Collaboration, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2007
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
City service delivery requires planners and city managers to move beyond the public-private dichotomy and explore the benefits of interaction between markets and planning. Using International City County Management survey data on US local governments from 1992, 1997 and 2002, we find a shift where reverse contracting (re-internalisation) now exceeds the level of new contracting out (privatisation). We model how a theoretical shift from new public management to new public service in public administration mirrors a behavioural shift among city managers. Results confirm the need to balance economic concerns with political engagement of citizens and lend empirical support to a theory of social choice that links communicative planning with market management.

Can insourcing work? Congress presses DoD to reverse outsourcing

Source: By ELISE CASTELLI, Federal Times, October 09, 2007

Congress is pressing the Defense Department to transfer possibly billions of dollars worth of contracted work in house.

The Senate last week passed a Defense authorization bill that would direct the Pentagon to transfer its contracted professional services work to its own employees or else renegotiate those contracts to promote better performance and less cost. If Defense can’t do that, it must cancel the work, according to the bill.

The bill also would require the department to let employees compete for new and existing work that would typically go directly to contractors.

Stewart handover awaits lease revision

Source: By Hank Gross, Daily Freeman (NY), 09/27/2007

NEW WINDSOR – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey intends to take over the operation of Stewart International Airport on Nov. 1, but before that can be accomplished, a number of steps must be completed.

The state Transportation Department, the airport’s owner, is in the process of revising the operating lease, which was written for National Express Corp. about six years ago. The remaining 93 years of that lease is being sold to the Port Authority.

……The Port Authority is paying $78.5 million for the remainder of the airport lease. National Express paid $35 million for it in 2001.