Category Archives: Insourcing/municipalization

Redondo Beach ends partnership with McCormick Ambulance, will set up in-house service

Source: Kelcie Pegher, Daily Breeze, June 27, 2016

The city of Redondo Beach has decided to establish its own ambulance service, replacing McCormick Ambulance Service after a 10-year run at year’s end. The City Council recently approved Fire Chief Robert Metzger’s proposal after he reported that McCormick had upped its rates for basic life support and advanced life support by 21 and 18 percent, respectively. City officials soon will approach the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services seeking permission to start its own ambulance service, which would pay 30 part-time employees about $15 an hour. Start-up costs for creating a Redondo Beach ambulance service are hefty — $764,000, including buying vehicles and technology for the project. Metzger estimated that it will up to two years before the city would see a profit from the in-house service. But once it does, he expects that, on average, the city could bring in $400,000 a year in revenue for the next decade. The cost for the first year and recurring operating expenses would be about $1.3 million. …

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Redondo Beach explores taking over ambulance services
Source: Megan Barnes, Daily Breeze, March 5, 2016

Redondo Beach officials want to bring ambulance services in-house after years of contracting with a private company. With McCormick Ambulance’s 10-year contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services set to expire at the end of the year, Redondo Beach Fire Chief Robert Metzger got the green light from the City Council last week to put together a bid due May 4. Though McCormick has performed “acceptably,” Metzger said he believes turning transportation and basic life support services over to the Fire Department will benefit the beach community and bring in more revenue for city services. … If Redondo fire wins, the department would be responsible for some 3,400 transportation calls annually and could expect gross billings of $3.5 million, Metzger said. Billing services would be outsourced. Metzger believes revenues would cover staffing and operating costs. The city would have to spend about $555,000 on three ambulances and equipment.

Mid-County Ambulance District to exit contract with Mercy LifeStar

Source: Marie Thomas Baird, Sentinel-Tribune, June 30, 2016

The Mid-County Ambulance District is separating from its contract with Mercy LifeStar Ambulance, but plans to continue providing emergency medical services. … The ambulance district, which serves Plain, Portage and Center townships plus the village of Portage, has been in business since 1992. But Mercy LifeStar wants to double its contract fees with the district, leading leaders to opt out and become an independent provider. … Bechstein pointed out that Grand Rapids Township left Mercy LifeStar last year after not receiving a new bid for service, “so we’re talking about going out on our own” too. He estimated the district has 40 runs each month, many on the interstate and Ohio routes that cut through its service area. … To renew the contract that expires Dec. 31, it would cost nearly double, he added. Their current contract with Mercy LifeStar is $198,654, according to Denise Foos. The district owns the building on County Home Road but Mercy LifeStar owns the vehicles and pays the salaries. The employees on staff with Mercy LifeStar want to work for the district, he said. …

Sun City will honor existing resident ambulance contracts

Source: Rusty Bradshaw, Sun City Independent, May 30, 2016

As Sun City Fire and Medical Department officials gear up for ambulance service, they are dealing with squelching inaccurate impressions from residents. Department staff fielded more than 20 calls in late-May from residents concerned bout losing services because they believed their contracts with American Medical Response were ending. Ambulance service, once it begins under the Sun City Fire District, will remain much the same, aside from being more efficient, according to Mike Thompson, Sun City fire chief. … The chief said Sun City would honor any AMR contracts once they begin service, and would honor any contracts that are not renewed at the time of service. …

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Key hurdle removed to Sun City Fire and Medical Dept.’s new ambulance service
Source: Jeff Grant, Daily News-Sun, March 15, 2016

The private ambulance carrier serving Sun City has dropped its opposition to the Sun City Fire and Medical Department running its own service, removing a key hurdle to the latter’s providing emergency ambulances as early as this year. … Thompson said the decision leaves the SCFMD’s application for a ground ambulance Certificate of Necessity with no outside opposition. It also sends the application to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ. … AMR’s decision marks an about face from June 2015, when the company’s predecessor, Rural Metro, sought to block Sun City Fire and Medical’s application.

Campus insources workers after ongoing plans

Source: Kimberly Nielson, The Daily Californian, May 16, 2016

After seven months of protests by campus employees and students, UC Berkeley finalized plans to insource 69 campus workers from three private contract companies last week. The decision to insource workers was part of the Fair Wage/Fair Work Plan, a broader university movement aiming to support campus employees and raise their salaries, campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email. She added that campus officials have coordinated with AFSCME, a labor union representing UC workers, to work out appointment details since March. The campus has offered employment to all formerly contracted night shift and athletic custodians, as well as campus parking attendants contracted through LAZ Parking, according to Gilmore. She also noted that workers from ABM and Performance First were also given priority employment with the university. … Campus officials will also discontinue contracting additional parking or custodial workers for the remainder of the existing service agreement, extending their efforts to remedy “grotesque injustice” endured by contracted workers on campus, according to Stenhouse. …

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Opinion: Union calls for reasonable reform at UC
Source: Katherine Lybarger, President of AFSCME Local 3299, Sacramento Bee, May 8, 2016

As a widening scandal involving misuse of public funds and other ethical breaches by its top brass grips the University of California, The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board criticized UC’s largest employee union for advocating greater scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest at UC (“Let’s step back from UC Davis turmoil”; May 1). The board also criticized AFSCME Local 3299 for legislation that would encourage UC elites to stop squandering public funds on private contractors that exploit low-wage workers. There are thousands of contract custodians, landscapers, food service workers and others who do the same full-time jobs as direct UC employees for a fraction of the pay and no benefits. Instead of bringing these workers in-house, UC has fought to ensure its well-connected contractors continue to profit by condemning legions of these workers to lives of poverty and second-class status. … UC has recently told the Legislature that providing livable wages and direct employment to contract workers affected by Senate Bill 959 wouldn’t cost UC a dollar more. In fact, they’ve said it might even save money since $138 million of the $345 million that UC spends on such deals is squandered on overhead and contractor profits. In other words, the editorial board’s assertions about SB 959 simply do not add up. …

Campus sheds light on rationale for insourcing formerly subcontracted workers
Source: Ericka Shin, The Daily Californian, March 30, 2016

The campus already had plans in the works to insource or fill vacant positions for at least 55 custodians prior to the recent agreement, but the March 18 decision has resulted in the campus offering jobs to an additional 14 custodians and 24 parking attendants, according to an email from Mogulof. Among these newly insourced employees are the 69 workers employed by ABM, PerformanceFirst and LAZ Parking who are being officially insourced as UC employees, according to Kristian Kim, a member of the campus’s Student Labor Committee. The agreement also stipulates that the campus will not contract out regularized parking or custodial work through June 30, 2017, Mogulof said in an email.

UC Berkeley Agrees to Hire Subcontracted Workers After Threats of Boycott
Source: Josh Lefler, The Guardian, March 27, 2016

The University of California hires at least 45 different private companies to fill staffing positions across the UC campuses in the areas of custodial work, food services, landscaping, security, parking and more, according to an AFSCME 3299 report. The same report concluded that these workers are paid as little as 53 percent less than workers who are employed directly by the University of California and do not receive the same benefits. The nearly 100 subcontracted workers, who were just recently hired by the university, were described as having “more than 440 years of combined experience working at UC Berkeley,” but were paid below the wage of an official UC employee, according to Stenhouse.

UC Berkeley reaches labor agreement on contract workers
Source: Tom Lochner, Contra Costa Times, March 18, 2016

UC Berkeley, in what one of its unions hailed as a “historic victory for contract workers,” has agreed to offer direct employment to all regular night shift and athletics custodians currently working at the institution through private contractors, the university announced Friday. As part of the agreement, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 will end its “speakers boycott,” the university said. Under the boycott, AFSCME objected to speakers with engagements at the campus. … The union said 93 custodial and parking workers fall under the agreement. The university said it will offer to hire all campus stack parking attendants currently employed through LAZ Parking. …

Subcontracted campus workers insourced as UC employees, ending speakers’ boycott
Source: Adrienne Shih, The Daily Californian, March 18, 2016

After nearly seven months of campaigning, 69 previously subcontracted workers have officially been insourced as UC employees, ending an ongoing campus speakers’ boycott. The workers — employed by ABM, PerformanceFirst and LAZ Parking — were previously a part of the University of California’s two-tier employment policy. The campus employs some individuals directly, or in-house, while others who do temporary or seasonal work are employed as subcontracted workers, receiving reduced pay and fewer benefits than their directly employed counterparts.
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Morton Hospital bans psych subcontractor in wake of rampage

Source: Jennifer Miller, Boston Herald, May 12, 2016

“Effective today, Morton Hospital has banned the state selected sub-contractor Norton Emergency Services AKA Taunton Attleboro Emergency Services (NES/TAES) from evaluating or recommending treatment for any patient at Morton Hospital,” Morton Hospital spokesperson Michele Fasano said in a statement. “During the period of 12:30A.M. to 8:00 A.M. this morning, NES/TAES failed to evaluate multiple patients in our Emergency Department in a timely way and when Morton Hospital proposed to do the evaluations ourselves we were rebuffed or ignored by the subcontractor. This inability of the state subcontractor to provide critical and timely services continues to put patients at risk.” … Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders told the Herald yesterday the Department of Public Health is investigating procedures at Morton Hospital, where relatives say a depressed and delusional Arthur DaRosa, 28, checked in Monday night but was discharged early Tuesday morning to the family’s surprise. Authorities say DaRosa then stabbed two people in a home on Myricks Street — killing an 80-year-old woman and injuring her daughter — Tuesday night before driving four miles, crashing a car into the front entrance of a Macy’s department store at the Silver City Galleria, and getting out to attack several others, including inside a restaurant, killing a 56-year-old teacher, authorities said.

“NES/TAES is subcontracted through MassHealth and is charged by law with the responsibility of evaluating MassHealth patients who enter the Morton Hospital Emergency Department,” Fasano said in the statement. “Morton Hospital has previously advocated to utilize our own hospital credentialed and vetted medical personnel to conduct such evaluations as it does with Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, and other payers. However, state policy has mandated that these evaluations be carried out by third party subcontractors such as NES/TAES. …

Township of Langley Arenas brought back in-house

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, April 13, 2016

UPE 403 is proud to announce that after nearly 20 years two arenas in the Township of Langley will once again be operated in-house. The George Preston Recreation Centre and the Aldergrove Community Arena will both be staffed by CUPE 403 members starting July 1, 2016. … Whyte says that community members with a ‘Go Active’ will now be able to use the pass at both the George Preston Recreation Centre and the Aldergrove Community Arena and that the Township is planning to increase programming at the facilities. Residents will now also be able to pay for municipal services such as taxes, dog licenses, and burning permits at George Preston Recreation Centre. Currently the two arenas are operated by private for profit contractor Canadian Recreation Excellence (Rec Ex). Their contract with the Township expires on June 30 and will not be renewed.

Bankruptcy of TransCare Strains New York’s Emergency Services

Source: Jim Dwyer, New York Times, April 14, 2016

For now, the city has patched the problem, though the medics are starting to become frayed from the extra hours or the trips to boroughs outside their regular assignments, and warm weather, the busiest time of the year for medical emergencies, is coming up. Mr. Miranda’s union — with support from, among others, Elizabeth Crowley, the chairwoman of the City Council’s fire and criminal justice committee, and the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer — is arguing that the use of private ambulances is a false economy, and that the city should hire enough of its own workers. … It also raises the kinds of questions that elected officials prefer to duck: There are fewer and fewer fires, and more and more medical emergencies, but there are twice as many firefighters as there are emergency medical workers. The two services were merged in March 1996, but there was only piecemeal integration. Firefighters now respond to many medical calls, and get there quicker than ambulances. For the most part, though, they do not have advanced training and cannot transport patients. It costs, on average, nearly four times as much to send a fire engine to a medical call as an ambulance, according to a report by the Citizens Budget Commission. …

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EMTs, paramedics lost final paychecks after private ambulance company Transcare went bankrupt
Source: Ginger Adams Otis, New York Daily News, Apil 1, 2016

EMTs and paramedics who lost their jobs when private ambulance company Transcare went bankrupt in February also lost their final paychecks — because they bounced, according to court papers filed in the Bronx Friday. … Pena said Transcare’s management knew full well it was going to have to shut down — but didn’t tell workers the situation was dire. He said the company had a conference call around Feb. 20 and told employees things looked bad. …

NYC looks to scale back from private ambulances after abrupt shutdown of Transcare left FDNY in lurch
Source: Erin Durkin, New York Daily News, March 10, 2016

The city is looking at reducing its reliance on private ambulances after the abrupt shutdown of one of the largest companies left the FDNY in the lurch, Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Transcare, a private contractor, went bankrupt last month — taking 81 ambulance tours off the street. … Asked if the city should scrap the use of private operators altogether, Nigro said, “those exact discussions are right now going on between our department and City Hall as to moving forward how do we avoid this situation.” …

TransCare ambulance facing ‘payroll crisis’
Source: Matt Coyne, The Journal News, July 7, 2015

The company responsible for providing many Hudson Valley communities with ambulance service is having a hard time paying its employees. After what Chief Executive Officer Glenn Leland called a sudden change in bank policy late last week, TransCare, which has contracts with White Plains, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Putnam County, was unable to pay their employees as scheduled. In a letter to employees dated July 6, Leland said his Brooklyn-based company was experiencing a “short-term payroll crisis.” “You will be paid every penny you are owed for all your work for TransCare, past, present and future,” the letter read. “The question is not if you will be paid, but instead when you will be paid.” Tuesday afternoon Leland told The Journal News that in lieu of keeping a traditional bank account, due to inconsistent cash flow, the company takes out loans to pay expenses, then pays them down when payments from customers, insurance companies and patients are received.

Sooke Wastewater Services to be delivered in-house

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, April 8, 2016

The District of Sooke has voted unanimously to end their contract with for-profit contractor EPCOR and bring wastewater services in-house. Sooke staff estimate that the District can save approximately $225,000 annually by operating and maintaining the system themselves. There will be a six month transition period and the District will officially take over as of October 1, 2016. … EPCOR has operated and maintained Sooke’s wastewater services since 2006. In 2011, when EPCOR’s five-year contract was expiring, City Council considered pursuing a 21-year contract extension however residents rejected that option and instead Council went with another five-year extension. “This is a prime example of a contract that didn’t deliver the cost savings that were anticipated,” says CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Davies. “In this case Sooke was lucky that the contract was short term as most Public Private Partnerships usually require long term contracts. As other communities consider options for their wastewater services we hope that they will look to what happened in Sooke and consider the many benefits that a publicly owned and operated project offers.”

Youngstown privatizing trash collection May 1

Source: The Vindicator, April 7, 2016

Youngstown will start its own residential garbage collection May 1 that city officials say will be cheaper than remaining with a private company. With about three weeks before the program is to begin, the city has yet to purchase nine garbage trucks and 21,500 garbage bins and hire employees. But the program will start on time, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the city’s public-works department. … The trucks will take about two to six months to arrive, so the city will lease trucks until then and won’t order the bins until the vehicles are just about ready so both will be ready about the same time, Shasho said. The city hired private companies for decades to handle its residential garbage collection.

City spends $1.2M for new ambulance service

Source: Cecilia Chan, Peoria Independent, March 18, 2016

Peoria expects to have its own ambulances hit the streets by late fall. The City Council last week unanimously approved allocating $1.2 million from its general fund reserves in this year’s budget to buy three ambulances and hire 14 firefighters, a billing assistant and a EMS captain devoted to implementing the city’s ambulance service. On-going operational cost is pegged at $2 million. The city’s ability to provide “the very best medical” services to its residents is to take control back from private ambulance providers, City Manager Carl Swenson said. … Peoria’s ambulance service will be phased in over a five-year period. Currently the city has a contract with PMT, to provide a total of four full-time and two peak-time ambulances available to serve Peoria residents. In the first phase of operation, the city will operate two full-time ambulances, each staffed with an EMT and a paramedic, and have one non-staffed backup ambulance, according to EMS Chief James Bratcher. The city will continue to partner with a private company to provide ambulance services until it acquires five staff ambulances and two reserve vehicles, Mr. Bratcher said.

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Peoria nears goal of city-operated ambulances after council approves funds
Source: Chris Caraveo, Daily News-Sun, March 16, 2016

The city continued its goal of operating its own ambulances after council members approved a budget amendment of about $1.2 million, ensuring the service will be on track to operate in the fall. … City Council unanimously passed the budget amendment March 15. Doing so enables Peoria to initially acquire two full-time ambulances and one for backup. This is a vital step towards having the city’s Certificate of Necessity –which allows Peoria to operate its own ambulances – finalized by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The service will have a one-time start-up cost of about $1.15 million, and yearly operational costs of about $2.1 million after Fiscal Year 2016, which ends June 30. Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 will split the start-up costs, with the FY2016 budget amendment providing $885,800 of the one-time funds. The remaining $261,485 will be requested for FY2017. Initially, Fiscal Year 2016 committed one-time funding of $885,800 for ambulances, training and equipment, and $1,360,811 of ongoing funds for the hiring, salaries and benefits of 16 new positions, including 14 firefighters, a billing administrative assistant and an EMS captain.

Peoria gets OK to operate its own ambulance services
Source: Mark Harris, The Republic, February 9, 2016

Peoria officials say the city’s application to operate its own ambulance service has been approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Currently, medical care and transportation in Peoria are provided by Peoria Fire-Medical firefighters and American Medical Response, which is a private ambulance company. But with the state approval of a certificate of necessity, Peoria will now start the process of running its own ambulances.

Fire chief brings council up to speed on medical service application
Source: Carly Hanson, Peoria Times, September 11, 2015

The process of seeking consent to acquire their own ambulance service began when the fire-medical department submitted a state-required Certificate of Necessity (CON) June 25 to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Their efforts continued Aug. 29, when Peoria Fire Chief Bobby Ruiz gave a presentation to the city council regarding this objective. As stated in the presentation, Peoria Fire-Medical currently has eight stations, and plans to have at least four more come online within the next decade. They want to get the ball rolling in order to have the proper resources to complete the job to the best of their ability, as well as meet the growing needs of the City of Peoria. … He sees this service being AMR, the medical transportation branch of Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc., which has recently moved to acquire the Rural/Metro Corporation after its bankruptcy in August last year. This acquisition is seen as a win for both companies that will enhance the already thriving capabilities of AMR. The acquisition will close in the fourth quarter 2015.