Category Archives: Laundry

UW Students Occupy Building to Protest Closure of Unionized Laundry

Source: Heidi Groover, The Stranger, April 9, 2018
About 20 students are currently occupying UW Medicine administrative offices urging the university not to shutter its laundry service. The laundry currently employs about 100 people who clean linens and scrubs for University of Washington Medicine hospitals and clinics. After UW Medicine saw a $75 million operating loss last year, the university is considering shifting from operating the laundry to contracting a private company for the service. The school says the current laundry requires expensive upgrades. Workers say they fear losing steady jobs that pay $15 to $18 an hour. … According to the laundry workers and their unions, most of the laundry employees are immigrants and people of color. Some have worked there more than a decade. Speaking on campus before marching to the UW Medicine building Monday, workers said they fear being unable to support their families without the jobs. The Washington Federation of State Employees and Service Employees International Union 925 represents the laundry workers. During the rally, UW sophomore Iman Mustafa stood next to her father, who has worked at the laundry most of her life. The job offers a stable wage but “no mobility,” Mustafa said. She fears her father will have trouble finding a new job if he’s laid off. The university is “making them all homeless,’ Mustafa said. …


As UW Laundry Workers Advocate to Keep Their Jobs, 15 Employees Get Layoff Notices
Source: Heidi Groover, The Stranger, April 2, 2018
On Wednesday, workers from the University of Washington-run laundry that services UW hospitals and clinics gathered with supporters on the university campus. They fear they could lose their jobs as the university moves to privatize the laundry. They used the rally to highlight that fear and call on the school to reconsider. The next day, 15 of the laundry’s roughly 100 employees got a new reason to worry: They received notices that they will be laid off in 60 days. Rod Palmquist from the Washington Federation of State Employees AFSCME Council 28, which represents some of the laundry workers, said the union plans to rally community members and elected officials to try to fight the layoffs. He said the union does not believe the layoffs are retaliation. …

Workers Protest UW Laundry Closure
Source: Melissa Hellmann, Seattle Weekly, March 29, 2018
Patricia Thomas has cleaned patient bed linens and employee uniforms for nearly three decades at Consolidated Laundry, a Rainier Valley facility which serves University of Washington hospitals and clinics. … Thomas never considered getting another job until she returned to her work station in January after a week-long vacation. In the midst of folding clothes, a colleague told her that UW was considering closing the Consolidated Laundry. Citing a $75 million budget shortfall throughout UW Medicine’s operations, the University is considering privatizing its laundry services. … Most of the facility’s workers are middle-aged, immigrants or people of color who rely on the job for its $15 minimum wages, health care, and retirement benefits. “The privatization of this facility risks over 100 good-paying union jobs with members whose families directly rely on that employment,” said Rod Palmquist, the Higher Education Coordinator for the Washington Federation of State Employees. … Over 100 UW Laundry Workers, student members of UW United Students Against Sweatshops, other union member supporters, and political groups gathered at the Drumheller Fountain on UW’s Seattle campus on Wednesday to protest the facility’s closure and to deliver over 600 petition signatures to UW President Ana Mari Cauce. …

County rejects Claremont privatization pitches

Source: Zack Hoopes, The Sentinel, April 25, 2016

The county’s quasi-controversial interest in further privatization at the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center appears to have come to a halt. The Cumberland County Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to reject all offers received from vendors to completely take over the food, housekeeping, and laundry departments at the county-owned nursing home. After reviewing the bids received last month, county staff recommended to the commission that none of the offers were worth it. … In February, the commissioners had voted to issue a bid solicitation for vendors to run Claremont’s auxiliary functions. Currently, an outside management company – Sodexo – is responsible for the cash flow. But the 75 workers in the food, laundry, and housekeeping services are county employees. If the county were to go through with it, the proposal would have had those jobs become private-sector.


County to get proposals on privatization of some nursing home functions
Source: Zack Hoopes, The Sentinel, February 1, 2016

Cumberland County has committed to at least testing the waters a bit when it comes to further outsourcing at the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The county’s’ Board of Commissioners voted two-to-one Monday to issue a request for proposals for an outside contractor to completely take over the food, housekeeping, and laundry departments at the county-owned nursing home. … Approximately 75 employees would be affected if the county were to move forward with such a proposal, which would not directly impact nurses or any other medical staff. Bids are due back March 10, with Sodexo or any other qualified company able to make a pitch. … The 65-page bid specification the county issued lays out, in detail, how the outside vendor would be required to maintain the current levels of quality and service. It also specifies that employees bound by collective bargaining agreements are to keep their jobs – the 75 employees in the food, housekeeping, and laundry operations are unionized.

Sunnycrest fines total $6,000/State finds 9 deficiencies during a mid-September inspection, including issues with Aramark’s food-service management.

Source: Alicia Yager, Telegraph Herald, October 8, 2015

Dubuque County-owned Sunnycrest Manor has been fined $6,000 for three violations discovered during its most-recent state inspection. The violations were among nine deficiencies noted in the mid-September inspection. … Another violation involved Aramark’s management of dietary services at Sunnycrest, prompting a $500 fine. … That resident also said staff is afraid to “speak up for fear of getting fired.” Other residents stated they had dietary restrictions, and when they didn’t like items on the menu, there weren’t alternatives available that they liked. Residents also said the kitchen sometimes ran out of prepared meals. Dubuque County hired Aramark in June to manage dietary services at Sunnycrest. The report said inspectors spoke with the dietary director and a dietitian from the contract agency, who said residents could get alternative food, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, from the nurse’s station on each floor if they do not like menu food. Fresh salad also is available at every meal, they said.


Dubuque County OKs Aramark services at Sunnycrest /The company will manage dietary and housekeeping. No employees will lose their jobs.
Source: Alicia Yager, TH Online, June 10, 2015

Dietary and housekeeping services at Sunnycrest Manor will be managed by Aramark starting at the end of this month. The Dubuque County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a one-year contract with Aramark that will take effect on June 29 and continue until June 28, 2016. The company will provide on-site management of dietary and housekeeping services at the county-owned long-term care facility…. Klein said the contract authorizes Aramark to serve in a managerial role. Current employees in dietary and laundry services will keep their jobs. …. The contract states the price-per-meal will change based on resident population. Prices can vary from $3.326 per meal if 85 to 89 residents are served, down to $3.197 per meal for 120 to 124 residents. Those prices are set through April 30, 2016…..

Some Sunnycrest outsourcing OK’d
Source: Alicia Yager, TH Online, February 19, 2015

Operational board recommends Aramark handle bulk laundry services for an annual savings of $194,000. Dietary and housekeeping would remain if union staff will agree on concessions to wages and benefits.
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Lessons from laundry privatization: Why freedom of information matters in the era of privatization

Source: Tria Donaldson and Cheryl Stadnichuk,, July 27, 2015

Everywhere privatization has occurred, public access to the facts and figures around privatization has been a challenge. Here in Saskatchewan, that challenge can been illustrated by the difficulty of getting information about the privatization of hospital laundry. The cloak of secrecy was delt a major blow last week when the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner recommended the disclosure of a 10-year contract for laundry services between K-Bro Linen Systems and 3sHealth. The Commissioner also recommended that the publicly-funded 3sHealth be brought under legislation as a health care organization and subsequently freedom of information laws….The decision to privatize hospital laundry services is a major restructuring of our health-care system. It means the loss of about 350 jobs in six communities and the loss of publicly-provided and local laundry services. University of Winnipeg economist, Hugh Grant, estimated a net loss in provincial income between $14 and $42 million over the next 10 years from laundry privatization….Public access to documents through freedom of information legislation is critical to accountability and transparency.

But privatization presents hurdles to public knowledge. In this case, 3sHealth and K-Bro Linen refused to publicly disclose the 10-year contract claiming the information was a “trade secret” and that its disclosure would cause economic harm…..The Ministry responded that “[t]he Ministry has performed a search for this record and has determined that this record does not exist within the Ministry of Health.” Four of the health regions responded that “no record exists.”

It is shocking that health regions who will have to monitor K-Bro’s laundry services and pay the bills did not have a copy of the contract.


New Privacy Commissioner report a victory for transparency; CUPE calls for changes in FOI legislation in response
Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, July 24, 2015

Attempts by 3sHealth to prevent public disclosure and transparency on the privatization of hospital laundry services have been dealt with a major blow by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner in a new report that calls for public disclosure of a fully unredacted contract with K-Bro Linen. “CUPE has been trying to get a public copy of the contract with K-Bro Linen since it was signed in December 2013,” said Cheryl Stadnichuk, CUPE Researcher. “Both 3sHealth and K-Bro went to great lengths to prevent disclosure of this contract.” After unsuccessful attempts to get a copy of the 10-year K-Bro contract from the Ministry of Health, who claimed it did not have a copy, CUPE filed access to information requests to five health regions. All health regions, except for Sunrise Health Region, replied that they did not have the record. Sunrise offered a costing model template and requested a copy of the contract from 3sHealth, who denied the request. A heavily censored copy of the contract was provided to CUPE by 3sHealth only after a formal review had commenced. The review culminated in today’s report, which recommends full disclosure of both documents. “When dealing with our government, or one of its agencies, an unfortunate pattern seems to have developed,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Requests for information are simply denied or the information that is released is heavily censored. It is time for us to seriously consider making changes to freedom of information legislation to ensure openness and transparency in government.” CUPE is calling for 3sHealth to be included under freedom of information legislation – a move in line with the report’s recommendation that 3sHealth be made a “health care organization” under the Regional Health Services Act. “3sHealth plays a major role in the provision and restructuring of health care services,” added Graham. “3sHealth is funded by public dollars but is not covered by LAFOIP and is not subject to the same public scrutiny as other publicly-funded health organizations. This must change.” “This report is a victory for democratic accountability and transparency,” said Stadnichuk. “Saskatchewan people deserve the opportunity to view all contracts for privatizing services to monitor the full costs.” “Disclosure is especially important in this case, since we’re dealing with a ten-year contract in an industry notorious for cost overruns,” added Stadnichuk. Public statements in B.C. show that payments to two laundry corporations that hold the monopoly on service to health authorities in the Lower Mainland increased by a staggering 170 per cent over a seven-year period. Critics of the agreement with K-Bro in Saskatchewan have raised concerns about possible cost overruns because of unrealistic cost valuations.

Read the full report (082-2015) here.

Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain: The Privatization of Hospital Laundry Services in Saskatchewan
Source: Hugh Grant, Manish Pandey, James Townsend, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, December 2014

From the abstract:
The government’s plan to privatize hospital laundry services will have a negative impact on Saskatchewan’s local economies. The decision to close five regional laundries and centralize laundry services through Alberta-based K-Bro Linen will decrease the income of the residents of Saskatchewan between $14 and $42 million over the next 10 years in comparison to public options. The laundry plant closure in Prince Albert alone will result in 74 jobs lost, cause a decline in labour income of $2.5 million in the region, and a decline in regional GDP of $3.7 million. Privatization will also redistribute income away from workers and other residents of the province in favour of a private corporation whose major shareholders reside outside of the province. That is the conclusion of a new report by University of Winnipeg economists Hugh Grant, Manish Pandey and James Townsend. “Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain: The Privatization of Hospital Laundry Services in Saskatchewan” concludes that while privatization may garner limited, short-term savings, the long-term costs borne by Saskatchewan residents will be significantly higher.

Grand Canyon Park Gets Creative to Attract Bids on Concessions Contract

Source: Charles S. Clark,, September 24, 2014

…The problem: Xanterra over the decades has invested up to $200 million in improvements to its hotel, gift shops and restaurants around the canyon’s South Rim, money it would be entitled to collect should the government yank its concession contracts. The chances of finding a competing concessions contractor willing to assume that debt to Xanterra are considered slim. So in August, the Park Service announced a new approach. It would solicit a major concessions contract—worth more than $1 billion in potential revenue over 15 years—for the third time since 2013, the first private bids that came in having been deemed inadequate….The funds borrowed from other parks’ accounts will be repaid before the expiration of the new contract, which will kick in as of February 2015, Oltrogge added….
Lucrative Grand Canyon Contract up for Bid Again
Source: Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press, August 19, 2014

A lucrative contract to operate some of the most iconic lodging and food locations at the Grand Canyon has been reopened for bidding in a process that will bring changes affecting the millions of people who visit the landmark each year. The contract first went out for bid a year ago. But Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said the park didn’t receive any bids adhering to the conditions called for in the 15-year pact. The new contract requires that the winning bidder operate food trucks on the South Rim and expand patio dining at the historic El Tovar lodge to accommodate crowds during the busy summer months. It also calls on the winning bidder to demolish six outdated Maswik South lodge units and replace them with 90 standard rooms and 30 rooms with kitchenettes by 2017. In addition, rooms at the rustic Bright Angel lodge must be upgraded. Other requirements include eliminating on-site laundry services to conserve water, and instituting a lottery system for the cabins and dorms at Phantom Ranch that sits at the bottom of the canyon and can be reached only by mule, foot or rafting the Colorado River. Bids are due in October, with the contract to be awarded in January, potentially bringing in nearly $1 billion in gross revenue over the next 15 years for the winning vendor….Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts recently was awarded another 15-year contract that includes some services previously provided by Xanterra. That contract begins in January for food and retail services at Grand Canyon Village, Yavapai Lodge and Desert View, a public laundry facility, showers and campground. It is worth about $30 million a year….

Advantages of a Healthcare Laundry Cooperative

Sponsor: International Association for Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM), White Paper, July 15, 2014
(registration required)

Laundry is the most outsourced service by hospitals. Before you outsource to a commercial service, learn more about the benefits of a laundry cooperative. Healthcare facilities nationwide are looking for ways to cut costs and operate more efficiently, and that includes how they source their laundry and linen service. This white paper provides an overview of all laundry options available to healthcare providers, including information on the advantages provided by laundry cooperatives.

• The differences between OPLs, laundry cooperatives, commercial 3rd party providers, as well as contract management versus independent management.
• How laundry cooperatives can provide enhanced quality and service while reducing costs.
• Why you don’t have to build your own cooperative to secure the benefits they offer.
• How you can apply for a complimentary audit of your laundry operation (and secure help determining current laundry costs and a second opinion on how to increase operational efficiency).

Day wants to privatize Rockland County jobs

Source: Laura Incalcaterra,, August 25, 2014

Rockland County Executive Ed Day wants to cut dozens of county jobs in hopes that the workers would be hired by private employers. Most of the jobs are at Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center, which is in the process of being sold to a private owner. …. Day wants the Rockland Legislature to approve a resolution that eliminates entire programs, including posts held by security aides, laundry workers, mental health clerks and radiology technologists. …

National Park Service Awards Concessions Contract to DNC Parks & Resorts at Grand Canyon, Inc.

Source:, August 7, 2014

The National Park Service has selected DNC Parks & Resorts at Grand Canyon, Inc., a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, Inc., to provide a variety of visitor services at Grand Canyon National Park for the next 15 years. This is one of two concessions contracts that are expected to be awarded this year. The new park concessions contract is anticipated to begin January 2015 and includes grocery, food service and retail stores at the Grand Canyon Village Market; lodging, retail and food services at Yavapai Lodge; retail, food services, grocery and a service station at Desert View; operation of the public laundromat and showers known as Camper Services; and operation of the Trailer Village RV campground. Lodging, retail and food services at Yavapai, the service station, Camper Services and Trailer Village RV campground are operations that are currently provided under a concessions contract held by Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C. …

More than 100 Warren Haven nursing home workers get layoff notices as sale looms

Source: Steve Novak,, June 17, 2015

Employees at the Warren County-owned nursing home received layoff notices this week ahead of a sale of the facility that could close as soon as August. In all, 109 of Warren Haven’s “rank-and-file” were given notice over two days this week, Freeholder Director Ed Smith said Wednesday. Contracted workers did not receive a notice. The notices are part of the sale process after the county approved a $15.6 million bid for the Mansfield Township facility in May. New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission requires a 45-day notice for the employees it covers. Freeholders had asked bidders on the property to consider retaining current staff, a possibility that still remains, Smith said. The bid, submitted by a group call WH Holdings, was awarded at the freeholders’ meeting May 13. At that meeting, a Warren Haven employee asked County Administrator Steve Marvin about the timeline for the sale….

Freeholder Director explains Warren Haven email leaked to press
Source: Emily Cummins, The Warren Reporter, July 24, 2014

Warren County Freeholders stated in an email sent to union officials last week, that the county has “serious doubts” regarding the feasibility of cost-saving measures suggested to save Warren Haven. ” …. “When we had had earlier discussions, we said we were not going to negotiate this in the newspaper,” Freeholder Director Ed Smith said today in response to an article by The Express-Times, stating that he was caught off guard by the distribution of the email. Outlining when negotiations began with the union, Smith said that discussions have been limited. Following a conceptual plan from AFSCME Council 73 that would, according to their research, save the county $2.5 to $3 million by increasing revenues and lowering labor costs, the county’s labor counsel determined that the suggestions were implausible, Smith said….

Warren Haven nursing home sale appears imminent, freeholders say
Source: Edward Sieger, Express-Times, July 23, 2014

In a letter to union officials last week, Warren County gave its clearest signal yet that officials plan to sell the county-run nursing facility. “Warren County continues to maintain that it is in the best interests of both resident care and taxpayers to have a clean break with the Warren Haven Nursing Home,” according to a letter from county labor attorney J. Andrew Kinsey to union officials. The letter was obtained by The Express-Times. The comments came in response to a proposal from AFSCME Council 73 aimed at increasing revenues and lowering labor costs at Warren Haven in an effort to stave off a sale to a private owner. …. The union’s proposal sought to maintain jobs and salaries while ridding the county of pension and health care costs, according to Meara.

LETTER: Warren County’s elderly deserve support, ‘home’
Source: Letters to the Editor, Express Times, July 23, 2014

…Many families are physically unable to care for a wheelchair-bound adult who requires bathing, diapers, feeding, medications and some form of socialization. Some have no families to care for them. The elderly in Warren County pay or have paid taxes, including school taxes, but perhaps have not saved enough to privately pay out close to $100,000 a year for a private nursing home. They do not benefit from the school taxes they pay but as part of a community they support the need for the children in their community. Then why shouldn’t they receive the same support?…

Warren County freeholders, labor leaders talk potential concessions at Warren Haven
Source: Sarah Peters, Express-Times, July 8, 2014
Union leaders who hope to spare Warren Haven, the county-owned nursing home, from privatization floated a rough proposal to county officials early last week.  The two sides came to the table July 1 for their first discussion on possible labor concessions, which the Warren Haven Advisory Committee suggested should be complete by March 31. Leaders from both sides were reluctant to discuss details in accordance with an agreement they made not to negotiate through the media.  Gerard Meara, executive director of AFSCME Council 73, said the union presented a comprehensive proposal to Freeholder Director Ed Smith, County Administrator Steve Marvin and the county’s labor attorney. He said he hopes to know better what their intentions are when they sit down again at a to-be-scheduled meeting….

Warren County freeholders move toward sale of Warren Haven, despite public objections
Source: Sarah Peters, Express-Times, June 25, 2014

Warren County freeholders unanimously voted tonight to hire a company to market and sell Warren Haven over the objections of county residents and nursing home employees. Residents packed the meeting room to its 65-person capacity, and the crowd spilled over into the vestibule and out the doors of the county administration building tonight. During a lengthy public comment, most begged officials to keep the nursing home under full county control….

GUEST COLUMN: Warren County waging a war on the elderly
Source: CJ Van Gieson, Express-Times, June 18, 2014

In less than one year, using any and every excuse imaginable, the Warren County Freeholders have systematically targeted institutions, facilities and programs serving the elderly. They’ve used deceit and backroom finagling to bring Warren Haven to its knees, blaming peer group funding losses, AFSCME union benefits, and finally callouts by nursing staff to justify freezing admissions. They even deceived the public about the New Jersey First Act which, although it preserves jobs for New Jersey residents, allows out-of-state hiring in hardship cases. Taxpaying elderly, handicapped and veterans seeking respite at Warren Haven are now directed to privatized nursing homes in Phillipsburg, turned away from the familiar place where they’d hoped to live out their days….

Warren County, unions meet to discuss future of Warren Haven nursing home
Source: Edward Sieger, Express-Times, April 6, 2014

Following a few tense weeks that saw Warren County freeholders and union officials publicly spar over the future of Warren Haven, the two sides finally sat down for what was described as a productive meeting. … Since an advisory committee issued suggestions for keeping Warren Haven in county hands, union leaders and freeholders have traded barbs over the report, sick time usage at the facility and the fact that the two sides had yet to meet face to face by March 31 as recommended by the committee. Smith said none of those issues came up Friday as the two sides held a “very reasoned discussion.” County officials explained they want to maintain a publicly owned facility but laid out the parameters necessary to achieve that goal, he said. The two sides also briefly discussed what other services Warren Haven could offer in an effort to increase revenues, Smith said. … Freeholders recently instructed county staff to begin procuring the professional services necessary to sell Warren Haven. Smith said the issue did not come up during Friday’s meeting, and that union negotiations can move on a parallel track with the preliminary stages of what would be a lengthy sale process. …

Warren Haven union blasts county over nursing home recommendations
Source: Edward Sieger, Express-Times, March 5, 2014

Union officials representing Warren Haven employees are accusing the county of just using the specter of labor costs as an excuse to privatize the county-owned nursing home. “If you want to close the facility and look for a bad guy, don’t put that burden on the employees, many of whom have spent their entire working lives at the facility,” said Gerard Meara, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 73. … AFSCME Locals 671 and 3287, which fall under Council 73, represent staff at Warren Haven and other county employees. The Warren Haven Advisory Committee last month released recommendations for keeping the nursing home under county ownership, the most significant of which is labor concessions….

Labor union reps disagree with Freeholders on how to save Warren Haven
Source: Emily Cummins, Warren Reporter, March 5, 2014

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a labor union representing Warren Haven’s workers, issued a press release today that calls into question the report and subsequent recommendations made by the Warren County Advisory Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 11.”The report unfairly targets workers, and even speculates about ways to dismantle their union… The committee’s first and most decisive recommendation is to seek significant concessions from workers,” state representatives for AFSCME state in the release…

Editorial: It’s time for serious discussion about selling Warren Haven, Warren County’s nursing home
Source: Express-Times March 5, 2014

The future of Warren Haven, Warren County’s nursing home, is now officially on the clock. Armed with the recommendations of the Warren Haven Advisory Committee, the county freeholders have challenged the union representing workers to sit down and negotiate concessions on salary, health care costs and pension benefits — with the stipulation that significant progress be made by March 31. …

Warren County residents plead for creative solution to financial woes at Warren Haven
Source: Sarah Peters, Express-Times, November 06, 2013

Warren Haven residents, their family members and caretakers pleaded with an advisory committee tonight to find an imaginative solution to privatizing the county-owned nursing home. … A few years ago, the county received $232 per bed per day in Medicaid reimbursement, Olshefski said. Today, the county receives $214, and the rate will drop again to $190 July 1, he said. Privately-paying residents are charged a break-even rate of $285 a day, Olshefski said. Nursing homes around the country, including Gracedale in Northampton County, are facing similar issues, Olshefski said. Unlike their neighbors, Warren County freeholders are limited by the state’s 2 percent cap in how much they can raise in taxes, he said. …

…County residents also asked freeholders to consider a referendum that asks taxpayers whether the county should maintain ownership of Warren Haven similar to a Gracedale ballot question Northampton County voters approved two years ago….

Warren County freeholders privatize some Warren Haven services; workers to be laid-off
Source: Andrew George, Express-Times, March 27, 2013

Warren County freeholders voted unanimously tonight to privatize laundry, housekeeping and dietary services at Warren Haven, a decision that effectively lays off 54 full-time, six part-time and three supervisory staff members. The county will award contracts – $845,000 for laundry and housekeeping services and $1.51 million for dietary services – to Bucks County-based Healthcare Services Group, Inc., which will take over effective July 1….

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….