Category Archives: Victories

Appeals court rules against Central Point schools on bus outsourcing /Bus outsourcing process violated law, judges say

Source: Teresa Thomas, Mail Tribune, May 6, 2015

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that the Central Point School District violated the law by not conducting a thorough cost analysis before contracting out its student bus services in 2011. The appellate court overturned Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ron Grensky’s 2012 decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by former district bus driver Stephanie Hicks and sent the case back to the lower court for further review and a judgment consistent with its opinion that the district was at fault. Oregon Revised Statute 279B requires that public agencies — in this case, the school district — perform a detailed cost-benefit analysis before outsourcing government services of more than $250,000. This analysis must demonstrate that outsourcing services would be cheaper than providing them in-house….

Related:
Laid-off school bus driver wins Oregon court ruling over outsourcing
Source: The Oregonian, April 27, 2015

Four years after losing her job to outsourcing, bus driver Stephanie Hicks will get a second chance to challenge the Central Point School District’s decision to lay off its own employees and hire a private contractor.The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled April 22 that the Medford-area school district violated state law by using an inadequate and improper process for evaluating potential cost savings. The ruling overturns a decision by the Jackson County Circuit Court and orders the lower court to reconsider the case “consistent with this opinion.”Generally, school districts and other state agencies can outsource government services by demonstrating that the change will save taxpayer money. However, a 2009 state law prohibits the change “if the sole reason” for the reduced cost is the potential contractor’s lower wages and benefits. ….

CSEA declares end of GTECH contract at Lottery

Source: Times Union, February 26, 2015

CSEA declared victory recently when the last contract worker recently left a pilot program at the Lottery Division. The union reported in its magazine Work Force that state officials awarded GTECH — an Italian multi-billion-dollar company that manages lotteries worldwide — a $25 million contract in September 2012 to create a pilot program that had private sector workers do jobs identical to those of civil service workers at the Division. ….
Related:
CSEA: Lottery Outsourcing Jobs To Firm That’s Big Cuomo Contributor
Source: Mark Toor, Chief Leader, December 16, 2013
(subscription required)

The Civil Service Employees Association is redoubling its efforts to fight a pilot program by the State Lottery to hire employees of a private company to do the work usually done by civil-service Lottery Marketing Representatives. The union has opposed the program since summer but has made no progress, said CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz….The company, GTECH, is a multi-billion-dollar international corporation that manages lotteries around the world. GTECH’s political-action committee had contributed $40,000 to Mr. Cuomo as of last January, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group…. “It’s a sign of the times, this outsourcing,” he told THE CHIEF-LEADER last week. “It’s costing more and you’re not getting better service. In the long run, even with the health-care and pensions, civil service is still cheaper.” He noted that the GTECH representatives “sell less tickets, and they make less money.” A CSEA official who asked not to be named said that “every time one of our members leaves they put in a GTECH person…It’s this huge company coming in and taking over state jobs in New York City. Eventually they’ll probably spread out across the state.” … Mr. Skoufis wrote a letter Dec. 11 to Gardner Gurney, Acting Director of the State Lottery, asking why the agency was hiring workers from GTECH instead of civil-service Lottery Marketing Representatives. …

CSEA seeks ethics probe / Request targets former director of Division of Lottery
Source: James M. Odato, Times Union, May 6, 2013

The head of the contract administration for the Civil Service Employees Association has formally requested a state ethics probe of the former director of the Division of Lottery. Ross Hanna requested the investigation because Gordon Medenica took a job as a consultant for GTech, the major lottery services contractor that received a $25 million contract shortly before Medenica resigned his Lottery position….

CSEA wants Medenica hiring investigated
Source: Casey Seiler, Times Union, Capitol Confidential blog, April 17, 2013

CSEA wants to see the hiring of former State Lottery Director Gordon Menedica by GTech Corp., the Lottery Division’s biggest vendor, investigated by the Legislature, the Inspector General and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Medenica’s new job was the subject of Jim Odato’s column on Monday, though somehow CSEA fails to mention that in their release. In that article, Medenica noted that he waited 30 days before pursuing the job, and says that GTech will use him as a consultant in New Jersey, Illinois and Indiana, but not in New York.

Queens Library to end custodial contracting

Source: Public Employee Press, Vol. 60 no. 10, December 2014

Queens Borough Public Library announced Oct. 23 that it will no longer use outside custodians — a victory for the union, which has long fought farming out work to private firms — and a possible sign of improving labor relations at the library. QBPL said it will end its contract with the Busy Bee cleaning company in December, eliminate the remaining contracted custodians in June, and replace the contracted workers with union custodians. The library has about 70 unionized custodians. It had many more before 2008, when it stopped hiring custodians and began shrinking the in-house staff through attrition. In 2013, QBPL decided to hire contract custodians rather than union custodians, even though its budget had stabilized. The library will use $2.8 million in additional funding that the City Council restored earlier this year to hire 16 new full-time custodians and 19 clerical workers….

Corrections Locals Win Victory To Insource Food Service

Source: AFSCME Council 5, Stepping Up, Vol. 9 no. 7, November/ December 2014

The determined campaign by Council 5’s corrections locals to end Minnesota’s risky outsourcing of food service in state prisons has paid off. The department will quit privatizing food service when the current vendor’s contract expires in June 2015, corrections commissioner Tom Roy says. The victory will improve security inside prisons and add 64 bargaining-unit jobs next year. AFSCME corrections locals documented problems with both the quality and quantity of food that outside vendors provide. The locals tracked how often vendors serve food that is spoiled or inedible, and how often they run out of food before every inmate has a chance to eat. In one case at Moose Lake, the vendor ran out of chicken, so it served offenders five ice cream sandwiches as a substitute… Bringing food service back in-house will re-establish the position of “security cook” as a state employee. Security cooks are corrections officers who serve as kitchen supervisors and are trained specifically to work in that kind of risky environment with offenders. A’viands, a Roseville-based corporation, is the latest vendor to hold the prison system’s food contract. A’viands serves more than 8,000 inmates at seven state prisons – every facility except Red Wing and St. Cloud, where AFSCME security cooks already staff the kitchens.

Memphis Campus Temps Outwit Scheme to Privatize Their Social Security

Source: Steve Payne and Jeffrey Lichtenstein, Labor Notes, January 8, 2015

Though we don’t have a union contract, workers at the University of Memphis last month took quick action and backed management off its plan to privatize our Social Security—for now, anyway. The university made the announcement December 12: on just a week’s notice, almost 2,000 temporary workers, including one of the authors of this article, would be laid off. We could reapply in hopes of getting our jobs back. The affected workers included many long-term temps, such as people working as data and lab techs, custodians and groundskeepers, and lots of adjunct faculty. …. Public employees are denied our right to bargain in Tennessee, but that hasn’t stopped us from organizing. … The mass layoff was part of a new temporary employee policy. If rehired, we would be no longer participate in Social Security. Instead, we would be enrolled in a “FICA alternative plan.” ….. It turns out that Congress created this type of plan for public employers in 1990, overturning previous regulations that had ensured that public employees could not be exempted from Social Security. These FICA alternative plans can only affect temporary seasonal workers in new positions, which is why the university had to fire and rehire us. They’re used by various public entities, particularly in the South….

CSEA president rips Neuhaus over Valley View

Source: Chris McKenna, Record Online, December 6, 2014
(scroll down)

The president of the union representing Orange County’s Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabiliation has fired back at County Executive Steve Neuhaus for continuing his campaign to privatize the 360-bed home and what she described as his “race to the bottom” in wages for nursing-home employees. Sabina Shapiro, president of the county’s Civil Service Employees Association units, was responding to remarks Neuhaus made last Monday in his message to county lawmakers about their changes to his 2015 budget plan, some of which he vetoed. Folded into that letter were sharp jabs at legislators who blocked his second attempt to sell Valley View last month and at the CSEA, which he accused of fighting to preserve higher wages at the county home in comparison to private-sector peers.
Related:
Public rises to Valley View’s defense /Speakers blast county for ignoring the people’s will
Source: Edie Johnson, Photo News, October 3, 2014

The public once again gave full-throated support to keeping Valley View nursing home under county ownership. In the second hearing on the subject so far this year, all but three speakers favored holding on to Valley View. Several at the Sept. 29 hearing urged legislators to spend a day as caretaker at the nursing home to better understand the special kind of devotion it takes to do that kind of work. Others challenged the legitimacy of the hearing itself, saying that since the resolution to transfer the facility to a local development corporation (LDC) had been pulled from this week’s legislative agenda, there could be no legal public hearing but only an “informational session.”…

Residents blast proposal to privatize Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation
Source: News 12, September 29, 2014

Hundreds of people attended a public hearing in Goshen Monday about whether the county should get rid of a health care facility in order to save taxpayers money. Members of the legislature proposed privatizing the county-owned Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. Some Orange County residents took the microphone and blasted the idea. … But, workers and patients are fearful about what the move could mean for their future. County legislators have scheduled a vote in November to decide whether or not to privatize Valley View. Opponents of it say they plan to fight it every step of the way. …

Second suit filed to halt Valley View sale /Union seeks to invalidate April vote
Source: Chris McKenna, Times Herald-Record, June 25, 2014

A second lawsuit has been filed to stop Orange County’s latest effort to privatize its nursing home, which already has been successfully challenged in court but appears to be moving forward in spite of the ruling. The new case by the Civil Service Employees Association seeks again to invalidate the Legislature’s April 9 vote to transfer the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation to a local development corporation, which was created to sell the home….But the 22-page petition adds further objections. The union’s attorneys contend, for instance, that the county couldn’t transfer the 360-bed nursing home to Orange Valley View Development Corp. without the state commissioner of health’s approval, under the state Public Health Law….

Neuhaus to Appeal Judge’s Rule on Valley View Transfer
Source: Jessica Chen, Time Warner Cable News, June 17, 2014

News of the ruling by state Supreme Court Justice, Elaine Slobod, came down Tuesday. Slobod decided the legislature’s 12-9 vote in April to transfer the nursing home to a Local Development Corporation, also known as LDC, was invalid….President of the CSEA, Danny Donohue, who represents workers at Valley View released a statement, praising the ruling, “the transfer of public nursing facilities to the control of a LDC, which have no accountability to the public, represents an abandonment of responsibility by public officials.”…

Orange County seeks to have challenge to Valley View LDC dismissed
Source: MidHudsonNews.com, May 13, 2014

Attorneys for Orange County Government filed papers on Monday asking State Supreme Court to dismiss an Article 78 proceeding filed against the county for its creation of a local development corporation to determine the future of the county’s Valley View nursing home. The suit was filed by a number of county CSEA employees, including those who work at the nursing home….

Lawyer makes good on promise, files lawsuit against Orange County over Valley View vote
Source: Midhudsonnews.com, April 17, 2014

Saying the issue of removing the Valley View nursing home out of county hands is “more than a legal issue; it’s a moral issue,” attorney Michael Sussman Wednesday filed an Article 78 proceeding against the county for its creation of a local development corporation to dispose of the facility. Representing several individuals in the suit, including county employees, Sussman challenged the county legislature’s majority vote to create an LDC. He maintains under state law, a super-majority of two-thirds of the members, is needed for such a move if drafted as a resolution. A simple majority vote last week approved the transfer.

Sussman promises lawsuit over Valley View
Source: Midhudsonnews.com, April 10, 2014

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman was one of many who spoke in opposition to creating an LDC to oversee the future of the county nursing home. He who blasted the elected officials saying they supported one position before election last fall and then changed once in office. Sussman threatened to sue the legislature if the LDC was approved …. One CSEA officer, Annie Beth Moran, urged lawmakers to table the decision to allow negotiations to continue with givebacks by the union to save the county money.

Orange lawmakers take step toward sale of county nursing home
Source: Daily Freeman, April 10, 2014

Orange County legislators voted 12-9 Wednesday night to create a local development corporation to address the future of the Valley View nursing home. The vote came after much debate and public comment with nursing home residents and CSEA union members, who work there, opposing the move. The LDC model is styled after the method by which Ulster County sold its Golden Hill nursing home last year….

Union offers wage freeze to help save Valley View
Source: Chris McKenna, Times Herald-Record, April 8, 2014

The union representing about 1,950 Orange County employees has offered to forego raises for three years to try to stave off the possible privatization of the county-owned Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. Sabina Shapiro, president of two Orange County units of the Civil Service Employees Association, made the offer public during a marathon hearing Friday, telling county legislators and a large crowd in Goshen the union had proposed a six-year deal with no retroactive raises for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Donnery says Neuhaus wears ‘many masks’ – Speaks out against his Valley View plan
Source: Gittel Evangelist, Times Herald-Record, October 30, 2013

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Orange County executive candidate Roxanne Donnery said, her opponent’s idea to spin off the county’s nursing home to a separate agency betrays his true intention to privatize it. Donnery and her supporters in the CSEA — the union that represents the nursing home’s workers — held a news conference Tuesday evening to speak out against Republican Steve Neuhaus’ interest in transferring control of Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation to a local development corporation. …While true that Benton and Berardinelli have maintained support for selling the nursing home, both voted along with the legislative majority last week to fund Valley View for a full year. … Moreover, say Donnery and the labor leaders who support her, Ulster County transferred its nursing home, Golden Hill, to an LDC for precisely the purpose of selling it; the same thing happened in Rockland County. Donnery points out that Neuhaus received a $1,000 campaign donation from Harris Beach, the law firm that formed the LDCs that took over both those counties’ nursing homes. …

Union balks at latest contract proposal Negotiations called for Valley View concessions
Source: Chris Mckenna, Times Herald-Record, June 20, 2013

In a pair of surprising twists, Orange County officials have resumed contract talks with the union representing more than 2,000 county workers, but hit a snag after quickly reaching what they and the union’s president thought was a promising deal. Negotiations had dissolved in acrimony in April, with County Executive Ed Diana declaring an impasse and complaining the Civil Service Employees Association had made costly, unrealistic demands. ….. With talks now in mediation, county officials contacted the union last week and hammered out a proposal so swiftly that Diana shared the terms with county lawmakers in a closed-door meeting on Monday, and the union president, William Oliphant, presented them to his 11-member negotiating committee on Tuesday.

Diana believes Valley View bailout will cost another $20 million
Source: Mid-Hudson News Network, April 15, 2013

As the fate of the Orange County-owned Valley View nursing home remains in limbo, the county legislature believes it will take about $45 million to cover the operating expenses of the Goshen facility through the end of the year. That will be covered by taxation, Medicare and Medicaid and private pay residents, said County Executive Edward Diana, who believes the cost, through the end of the year, will be closer to $60 million. … Diana maintains his position that the county should sell the nursing home, but has met resistance from county legislators and the CSEA, which represents the employees at the facility.

Down to the wire on fate of Valley View
Source: Mid-Hudson News Network, December 10, 2012

Leadership of the union representing the Orange County employees at the Valley View nursing home on Monday said they are upset with the way last minute negotiations are going with the county as the fate of the facility hangs in the balance. County Executive Edward Diana’s 2012 budget provides funding for the nursing home for one month after which it would have to be sold or closed. The county legislature will convene on Wednesday to pass final judgment on the spending plan.

Orange County legislature votes to keep Valley View open
Source: Elaina Athans, YNN, November 14, 2012

Orange County’s legislators voted to keep Valley View Nursing Home open another year. They amend a proposed budget that originally called for the facility’s closure. … CSEA represents the majority of the workforces and the union president’s says he will make concessions to keep operational costs low…. Also, the same day the legislature voted to keep Valley View open, Diana contacted the other union that oversees the management end of Valley View. He notified them services were no longer needed in the new year.

Valley View committee in final stretch of its investigatory hearings
Source: Mid-Hudson News Network, August 9, 2012

The committee of lawmakers looking into the financial picture of the Orange County-owned Valley View nursing home is in its final week of hearings before it begins to compile a final report to submit to the full legislature. Chairwoman Roxanne Donnery and the committee interviewed two CSEA directors during Wednesday’s session, Robert Compani and Steven Alviene, on the privatization trend of nursing homes in the state. They spoke on the recent sale of the Fulton County Residential Health Care Facility, which was purchased by Centers for Specialty Care in April, one of the top candidates in line for Valley View. The company has also purchased once county-owned nursing homes in Essex and Washington counties.

According to the union heads, the results were less than ideal in Fulton.On the day of the purchase, the nursing home went from 210 employees to 170. Many left for other jobs, or because they had no knowledge of what their contract would look like under a new employer. While retained employees’ salaries did not change, new hires were brought in at a reduced salary; LPNs went from $16.25 per hour to $14, and certified nursing assistants from over $10 to $9.50, said Compani….

Union official rips Valley View bidder / Takeover sees staff exodus, rise in cost of health care
Source: Chris Mckenna, Times Herald-Record, August 9, 2012

Nursing home report hardens positions / Diana warns of layoffs, tax hikes
Source: Chris Mckenna, Times Herald-Record, August 2, 2012

Valley View’s true costs hard to pin down / Hearings off to a rocky start
Source: Chris Mckenna, Times Herald-Record, July 22, 2012

Witnesses blast OAS management
Source: Edie Johnson, Chronicle, July 13, 2012

Philadelphia’s plan to sell gas utility is dead

Source: AP, Oct 27, 2014

City Council members are effectively killing the proposed sale of Philadelphia’s gas utility to a Connecticut company, saying the risks of the deal outweighed the benefits to utility customers and the city. Council president Darrell Clarke said there was “no appetite” for the proposed $1.86 billion sale of Philadelphia Gas Works to UIL Holdings Corp., which required approval from both the council and the state Public Utility Commission.

‘NO’ to privatization in Philadelphia
Source: Joseph Piette, Worker’s World, June 26, 2014

A large crowd of Philadelphia Gas Works workers and their supporters rallied outside City Hall on June 19 to stop the privatization of the city-owned utility. Utility Workers Local 686 organized the demonstration, which included a number of politicians and labor leaders, including Pat Eiding, president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO. Speakers emphasized that the sale of the utility would ultimately raise heating prices for residents, decrease safety for communities, and lower wages, benefits and rights of workers…
Related:
Group Says 1,000+ Signed Petition Against Privatization of PGW
Source: Mike Dunn, CBS Philly, May 27, 2014

About a dozen local activists delivered petitions today to members of City Council, urging the lawmakers to oppose Mayor Nutter’s plan to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works….Nutter wants to sell the city-owned utility to a Connecticut firm called UIL for nearly $2 billion (see related story). The group of protesters believes that natural gas rates would escalate if PGW is sold and that relief for low-income families and senior citizens would end.

Related:
Selling PGW: A bad deal
Source: Ellen Dannin and Jim Walsh, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 2014

Not all utilities are the same. Compare, for example, Philadelphia Gas Works with Connecticut-based UIL Holdings, which is seeking to buy PGW and privatize it for profit. Both sell gas to their customers. But other than that, the differences are stark and plentiful. The city-owned PGW does far more than simply provide gas to 500,000 Philadelphia customers. As a not-for-profit, PGW has no obligation to make money for shareholders and executives. Instead, it can – and does – act primarily for the benefit of all Philadelphians…The proceeds from the sale of PGW may sound nice for the city, but that money is not free. Instead, it is an expensive loan, with UIL recouping interest on its investment by increasing gas rates for families and local businesses. The three-year rate freeze that Nutter has touted is riddled with exceptions and exclusions. It doesn’t apply to more than a dozen different surcharges and riders, or to the cost of any state-mandated improvements….

Rejected bidder for PGW offers alternative roles
Source: Andrew Maykuth, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 2014

A politically connected unsuccessful bidder for Philadelphia Gas Works is positioning itself to move into the breach if Mayor Nutter’s embattled plan to sell the utility collapses. Liberty Energy Trust, a year-old firm started by Russia-born, Harvard-trained former Enron executive Boris Brevnov, last month hired a lobbying firm, S.R. Wojdak & Associates, to “coordinate discussions” about energy-development opportunities. City officials say Liberty is quietly promoting alternatives to Nutter’s plan to sell PGW to UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, Conn., for $1.86 billion….

Nutter Announces Agreement To Sell Phila. Gas Works to a Conn. Company
Source: Mike Dunn, CBS Philly, March 3, 2014

Mayor Nutter today announced that he has reached a deal for a Connecticut company to buy the Philadelphia Gas Works for more than $1½ billion. … And with that, Nutter confirmed that New Haven-based UIL Holdings Corp. intends to purchase PGW for a whopping $1.86 billion. Nutter said that was at the high end of the range of possible sale prices that financial experts had projected. … Under terms of the deal, UIL has committed to holding its base rate — the portion of the bill unaffected by natural gas prices — to current levels for three years. It will continue assistance programs for low-income customers. All current PGW employees will be guaranteed a job and their pension fund will be preserved….

BCC approves small millage hike, talks libraries

Source: Debra W. Buehn, Clay Today, September 25, 2014

The Board of County Commissioners Tuesday unanimously passed its final 2014-15 budget of nearly $278 million and set the millage rate at 8.1010, a slight increase over last year’s rate. It also put to rest – for now, at least – the idea that the county’s library system would be outsourced or privatized, an idea dubbed an urban legend by one commissioner. … The “outsourcing” comments McDavitt referenced came from the Sept. 9 BCC meeting, when Conkey delivered a lengthy report on revenue diversification. The libraries came in a comment he made on outsourcing and diversification…. “We had an email from LSSI . . . they sent an email that they could run our libraries and save us $400,000. Now, that’s $400,000 that you may now be able to . . . build a new library and roll that into operating another library,” he said….McDavitt, who was joined by more than 25 library supporters in the audience, said some 478 signatures had been collected over the weekend at three of the county’s libraries in opposition to privatization. Mc-Davitt said a Facebook page also debuted that has recorded more than 600 visits and her phone was “ringing off the hook” and she had 300-400 messages a day in her email box. “This is how passionate people are about the libraries in this county,” Mc-Davitt said. After the 2014-15 budget was passed – a budget which included nothing about outsourcing or privatizing the libraries – McDavitt again spoke to tell the commissioners that if anyone on the board wanted to proceed with the idea of privatization, library supporters had “amassed an enormous amount of research” on the issue and LSSI, which they would be happy to share. …

State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing

Source: Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, August 30, 2014

A perpetual tug of war between public employee unions and the governments that employ their members is outsourcing or privatization, the use of private businesses and contractors to perform government work. …. Bayer pointed to the state’s contract with Maximus Health Services to review those on the state’s Medicaid rolls and remove those no longer eligible for services. State agencies that administered Medicaid said they didn’t have sufficient manpower to keep up with redetermination of eligibility. As part of the 2012 Medicaid reforms, Medicaid rolls were to be reviewed to ensure only those eligible to receive benefits obtained them. …. Maximus was hired to conduct the review, but AFSCME filed a grievance contending that, under its labor contract, the work should be done by state employees. An arbitrator ruled in AFSCME’s favor. …

… It wasn’t the only time AFSCME has prevailed in a privatization issue. In 1990, when some states were moving to private operations of prisons, the General Assembly passed a law expressly prohibiting private prisons or county jails. A legislative finding attached to the bill said, “The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that the management and operation of a correctional facility or institution involves functions that are inherently governmental. It is further found that issues of liability, accountability and cost warrant a prohibition of the ownership, operation or management of correctional facilities by for-profit facilities by for-profit contractors.”…

Pa. Lottery outsourcing critics say Illinois’ failed privatization could have played out here

Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, August 25, 2014

After three years of revenues falling short of expectation, Illinois is parting ways with the private management firm it hired in 2010 to run its state lottery. The news of Illinois’ decision to divorce Northstar Lottery Group announced on Friday struck a chord with a Pennsylvania labor union official and others who had been critical of a similar pursuit by Gov. Tom Corbett to hand over the reins of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a private management firm. Corbett abandoned that privatization pursuit, at least for the time being, when he announced at the end of 2013 that he was allowing a bid from United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services to expire after extending it eight times over the course of a year. That decision came after Attorney General Kathleen Kane raised constitutional and legal objections about the proposed contract with Camelot….
Related:
Editorial – Bet on politics: The new lottery director has scant expertise
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 15, 2014

When the Corbett administration was promoting its now-abandoned idea of privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery, it was on the basis of not only bringing private enterprise know-how to its operations but also special expertise in gambling. As explained a year ago by Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser, in an email to lottery workers informing that a British firm, Camelot Global Services, would soon be signing a contract: “We’re confident that by combining one of the nation’s best lotteries with one of the best private-sector lottery industry experts in the world, we’ll end up with a win-win proposition to grow and protect lottery profits … .” Now it’s on to other things, such as filling the vacant position for the lottery’s new executive director. On Monday, Silvan B. Lutkewitte III, 50, of Hershey took up the position, replacing Todd Rucci, who left in November for another job. In picking Mr. Lutkewitte to head the lottery instead of conducting a national search, did the administration put the same premium on gambling expertise as it did in its privatization efforts? …

Corbett feeling lucky about lottery privatization
Source: Mary Wilson, WITF, January 6, 2014

The Corbett administration let a private firm’s bid to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery expire at the end of December, but that doesn’t mean the governor feels down on his luck about privatizing the enterprise eventually. State senators last month began considering legislation that would allow the governor’s plans to advance. A measure under discussion would pave the way for an expansion of lottery games and outsourcing the lottery’s management to a private company.

Lottery workers union ‘pleased’ with end to privatization effort
Source: Robert J. Vickers, pennlive.com, December 30, 2013

State lottery workers breathed a sigh of relief Monday after Gov. Tom Corbett appeared to give up on a two-year effort to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery. “Right now we’re just pleased they’re keeping everything in-house,” said David Fillman, executive director of AFSCME Council 13, the union that represents about 170 employees of the state lottery. Earlier in the day, Corbett issued a news release indicating that he would not pursue a ninth extension on the lottery management bid from UK-based Camelot Global Services.Although he said he would allow the lottery to run as-is, and a state aging official said the move wouldn’t immediately harm commonwealth seniors, another administration official said future privatization efforts could be on the cards….

Related:
Pa. lottery manager effort has clear path
Source: Karen Langley, Post-Gazette, December 4, 2013

A tentative agreement between the Corbett administration and a union representing state workers appears to have breathed new life into the governor’s effort to hire a private manager for the Pennsylvania Lottery. A 20-year management agreement with Camelot Global Services, which operates the United Kingdom’s lottery, has been stalled since February, when Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that attorneys conducting a routine review of contracts had concluded the deal would violate state law. …

AFSCME warming up to outsourcing of Pennsylvania Lottery’s management
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, December 4, 2013

The most vocal critic of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management may be backing off its opposition. …

Privatizing Pa. Lottery doesn’t add up
Source: Mercury, November 1, 2013

From the outset, Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed privatization of the state lottery was ill-fated. And for good reason: It was a bad idea. It’s bad public policy. It’s bad for state taxpayers. It’s bad for the senior citizens who depend on lottery funds to pay for transportation, meals, prescription drugs and property tax and rent rebates. But now we learn the governor’s quixotic quest — guided by ideology more than practicality — hasn’t been bad for everyone. Consultants have hit the jackpot. …

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale calls on Corbett to stop spending on lottery privatization consultants
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, October 29, 2013

State Treasurer Rob McCord may have reluctantly decided to pay the more than $3.4 million in bills associated with Gov. Tom Corbett’s exploration of privatizating the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management, but that is not going to stop state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale from giving them another once over. In a news release issued Tuesday, DePasquale said he directed his staff to immediately begin to review and scrutinize this diversion of use of Lottery Fund dollars from funding senior programs to paying for consultants. …

Auditor General DePasquale Will Scrutinize Payments of Lottery Funds Diverted to Firms Associated with Stalled Privatization Effort
Source: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of the Auditor General, News Release, October 29, 2013

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today released the following statement on the commonwealth’s diversion of more than $3.4 million to firms associated with the Corbett Administration’s effort to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery: “I directed Department of Auditor General staff to immediately begin to review and scrutinize the Corbett Administration’s diversion of more than $3.4 million in Lottery funds to firms associated with a still-pending contract with the British-owned Camelot Global Services Inc. to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery management. “Funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery are supposed to help older Pennsylvanians with prescriptions, transportation, home-delivered meals and property tax and rent rebates, not to fatten the coffers of law firms and private consultants over a Lottery privatization contract that may never see the light of day…

2 State Senators Want Corbett to End Lottery Privatization Bid
Source: Kevin Gavin, WESA, October 7, 2013

Two Democratic state senators want Gov. Tom Corbett to pull the plug on his efforts to privatize Pennsylvania’s Lottery and turn his attention to what they say are more pressing issues including transportation funding, Medicaid expansion and education funding.

UK-based Camelot Global Services’ original bid to operate Pennsylvania’s Lottery was to expire at the end of 2012, but the Corbett administration and the company agreed on an extension of the offer. A contract was then finalized Jan. 16 which called for Camelot to give the state $34.6 billion over 20 years. In exchange Camelot would be allowed to increase the gaming options including Keno.

However, 30 days later state Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the contract Thursday on the grounds it violates the state constitution and state law. Since then the administration and Camelot have been agreeing to extensions to give the administration more time to “refine contract language.”

The latest extension, the 10th, is set to expire Oct. 29. Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) says there is no public demand for privatization…

Pa. Lottery should not follow Illinois path, lottery outsourcing opponents say
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, July 23, 2013

…An official from the labor union representing Pennsylvania Lottery employees and Democratic lawmakers have taken notice of how the situation is unfolding in Illinois. They suggest that should serve as yet another reason why Corbett should halt his pursuit of hiring United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery. In its bid, Camelot committed to generating $34.6 billion in profits over the next 20 years that would be used exclusively to fund the senior citizens’ programs. The Corbett administration estimates that is $3 billion to $4.5 billion more than the lottery would produce by keeping its management in-house. Camelot’s bid is currently set to expire on July 31….

Pa. Lottery privatization costs don’t cut profits, Revenue spokeswoman says
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, July 19, 2013

The record profits that the Pennsylvania Lottery earned last year do not include the more than $3.5 million that Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has spent or expects to spend on its exploration of tapping a private company the lottery. A spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue said, however, it would be wrong to assume that had those costs not been incurred, it would have driven up last year’s profits even higher. The lottery reported a record $1.067 billion in profits…. The lottery’s annual report for the period covering July 1, 2012 to June 30 shows the lottery hit an all-time ticket sales record of $3.48 billion, which is 6.3 percent more than the prior year’s record-setting performance….

Lottery privatization pursuit continues despite approaching record-breaking profits
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, May 20, 2013

Despite a trajectory that shows Pennsylvania Lottery profits on course to break the past year’s record-breaking performance, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has not abandoned its effort to privatize the lottery’s management. Administration officials have been working with consultants and lawyers to revise the contract that Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected in February, because she determined it was unconstitutional….

PA Lottery privatization deal questioned by third state agency
Source: Associated Press, April 15, 2013

A third state agency is pointing to potential legal problems in Governor Corbett’s stalled plan to hire a British company to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery. The chief counsel of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board wrote in a letter last month that the proposed contract is too ambiguous to tell what kinds of new gambling it would allow. As a result, the lawyer, Douglas Sherman, says it’s impossible to say whether it infringes on state casino gambling laws.

Corbett’s lottery privatization tab for consultants nears $3 million
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, April 2, 2013

Senior citizens may stand to pay a substantial cost in lost services if Gov. Tom Corbett’s effort to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management goes nowhere. Already, the costs of the consultants hired to assist the Corbett administration in that endeavor exceed $2.85 million, said Elizabeth Brassell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, which oversees the lottery. Unless another funding source is found, that money will come out of the lottery profits that are used to pay for senior programs, she said.

To understand the impact that would have if it came out of the lottery fund, information available from the state indicates that $2.85 million is enough to:
– Assist seniors in paying for 137,681 prescriptions through the PACE and PACENET programs,
– Pay for 1.1 million free transit rides for seniors,
– Provide 6,055 rebates through the state’s property tax and rent rebate programs, or
– Cover 576 months of nursing home care, the equivalent of paying the tab for 48 people to stay in a nursing home for a year….

Pennsylvania lottery deal being revised to address attorney general’s concerns
Source: Karen Langley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 16, 2013

…With an appeal to the courts due today, the governor’s office announced late Friday it would revise the contract “in order to provide clarification to the attorney general.” The attorney general had raised three objections to the contract: that it infringes on the Legislature’s power to make policy; that state lottery law does not allow monitor-based games, like keno; and that it included too broad a provision for Camelot to make claims against the state. The administration does not plan to remove keno or other components of the contract, but rather to demonstrate that the agreement is lawful….

Treasurer Rob McCord favors expanding lottery before looking to privatize its management
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, February 20, 2013

…At a Senate budget hearing, McCord suggested the administration would have done better had it had an open conversation with the Legislature about expanding the lottery to include terminal-based games such as keno at the same time it was looking at the idea of privatizing the lottery’s management….

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says Gov. Tom Corbett overstepped his constitutional authority in signing the lottery contract
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, February 14, 2013

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says Gov. Tom Corbett overstepped his authority in signing a contract with Camelot Global Services PA, LLC to take over management of the Pennsylvania Lottery. But that wasn’t the only reason she rejected it. She cited the state lottery act, the gaming act and other applicable case law as reasons why the contract didn’t meet her test for form and legality….

Toohil backs Kane on lottery contract block
Source: Kent Jackson, citizensvoice.com, February 19, 2013

AFSCME Urges Gov. Corbett To Negotiate With PA Employees On Lottery Proposal
Source: AFSCME Council 13, February 19, 2013

Costa, Blake to Gov: Let Lottery Implement AFSCME Approach to Raise Profit
Source: State Sen. John Blake, Press Release, February 11, 2013

State Sens. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and John Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) said that instead of outsourcing the Pennsylvania Lottery’s operations to a U.K. company, Camelot Global Services, the governor should allow the Lottery to implement AFSCME’s recommendations to raise new revenue….

Poll: Voters say don’t privatize lottery management
Source: Borys Krawczeniuk, Scranton Times Tribune, February 7, 2013

Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly think privatizing management of the state lottery is a bad idea, with some saying they’ll no longer play if that happens, according to a new Franklin & Marshall poll released Wednesday…Fewer than one in five voters (18 percent) said they either strongly or somewhat favor Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to hand off management of the lottery to a private company. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) either somewhat or strongly oppose privatization….

AFSCME adds new arguments in its lottery privatization lawsuit
Source: Jan Murphy, pennlive.com, February 04, 2013

…The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 on Thursday amended its lawsuit in Commonwealth Court to provide two additional reasons why it thinks the court should stop the administration’s outsourcing of the lottery’s management….

Corbett Gives U.K. Firm 20-Year Pennsylvania Lottery Deal
Source: Romy Varghese, Bloomberg, January 17, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett handed the management of the state’s $3.48 billion lottery to the company that runs Britain’s National Lottery. Disregarding criticism from Democratic lawmakers and a union representing lottery workers, Corbett awarded the 20-year contract yesterday to Camelot Global Services PA LLC, which is part of U.K.-based Camelot Group Plc. The attorney general’s office received the contract yesterday and will have 30 days to review it, Eric Shirk, a spokesman for the governor, said by e- mail. …

Inside the Bid to Privatize the PA State Lottery
Source: Randy LoBasso, PhillyNow blog, January 15, 2013

British firm wins Pennsylvania Lottery management
Source: Paul J. Gough, Pittsburgh Business Times, January 14, 2013

It’s official: Pennsylvania will become the third U.S. state to have a private firm run its lottery. Camelot Global Services, which also runs the British lottery, will pay $34 billion over the next 20 years to run the Pennsylvania Lottery. …

Pennsylvania lottery workers’ union pitches own plan
Source: Laura Olson, Post-Gazette, January 9, 2013

Arguing that the state is comparing “apples to screwdrivers” in weighing a private company’s plan for boosting state lottery profits against the projected performance of public employees, a union representing lottery workers says it can beat the bid. In a proposal submitted Tuesday to Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 contends that the bid from Britain-based Camelot Global Services PA LLC would provide less funding for seniors programs and too little security against missing its profit margins. …

Union fights effort to privatize Pa. Lottery
Source: Amy Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 9, 2013

Unionized employees make Pa. Lottery pitch
Source: Marc Levy, Associated Press, January 9, 2013

Union say lottery privatization could be costly
Source: Melissa Daniels , Watchdog.org, January 8, 2013

Pennsylvania Lottery privatization Q&A: Secretaries of aging and revenue discuss Camelot Group bid3
Source: John L. Micek, Morning Call, January 8, 2013

…. Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser and Aging Secretary Brian Duke took a few minutes to talk about the proposed privatization and the bid submitted by a North American subsidiary of the Camelot Group, which runs the National Lottery in the United Kingdom….

Corbett may hold hearings on privatizing the state lottery
Source: Laura Olson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 20, 2012

Lawmakers, union tiring of ‘secret’ talks on lottery privatization
Source: Mark Shade, Times Online, December 14, 2012

Editorial: More questions than answers in lottery deal
Source: Dave Fillman, Times-Tribune, December 16, 2012

State’s financial adviser doesn’t hide connection to only bidder for Pennsylvania lottery
Source: Jan Murphy, Patriot-News, December 06, 2012

A firm hired to advise Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration in its pursuit of privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery management is no stranger to the company interested in taking over the lottery. The state’s financial adviser, Greenhill & Co., worked on the $576 million sale of the Camelot Group to its present owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, in 2010. One of Camelot’s companies, Camelot Global Services PA, was the only firm to submit a bid to take over running the state’s $3 billion-plus lottery enterprise for the next 20 to 30 years. Now both Greenhill, which has a financial incentive in its contract if the lottery’s management goes private, and Camelot stand to make millions if Corbett signs the privatization deal.

Pa. Auditor General-elect Eugene DePasquale questions the urgency in the Corbett Administration’s lottery management privatization discussion
Source: Jan Murphy, Patriot-News, December 06, 2012

Pa. House Democratic lawmakers blast away at Gov. Tom Corbett’s lottery privatization proposal
Source: Jan Murphy, Patriot-News, December 03, 2012

More questions than answers on lottery privatization
Source: Sen. Richard Kasunic, Daily American, November 29, 2012

…Last year alone, the lottery generated $3.48 billion in sales, reaping over $1 billion in profits – all dedicated to senior citizen programs, which was an increase of over 10 percent from the previous year. The lottery managed to achieve these record sales despite increased competition from casinos and other gaming offerings across our state. Without question, the lottery is one of the most well run, efficiently operated agencies in all of state government.

With this record of success, why has our governor been quietly seeking to outsource the lottery’s management, and hurry this closed-door process along with little public review or legislative scrutiny? The governor stated that he wants a private operator in place by the beginning of January.

Making matters worse and adding to a laundry list of already legitimate suspicions about this privatization process, we now learn that only one firm has bid to run our lottery. Citing concerns about the terms of the Private Management Agreement and the process, two other potential bidders bowed out in August and November, leaving British-based Camelot as the sole bidder. This lack of competition raises serious issues about the model the Corbett administration has chosen to solicit privatization proposals and begs the question of whether Camelot’s bid reflects the best deal we can get if we are going to continue down this misguided path…..

Pa. unveils $34B, 20-year bid to privatize lottery
Source: Marc Levy, Associated Press, November 21, 2012

The Britain-based company that runs the national lottery in the United Kingdom is pledging to produce more than $34 billion in profits over 20 years if it wins a contract to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration said Tuesday as it moves toward privatizing the state’s $3.5 billion system. The administration said it will weigh the offer by Camelot Global Services, which it said is good until Dec. 31, and is the only one it said it will receive after two other companies that it would not identify dropped out.

Privatize the lottery? Corbett administration moves forward with efforts
Source: Nick Malawskey, Patriot-News, November 09, 2012

As lottery privatization decision looms, another state offers advice
Source: Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania, WITF, August 8, 2012

Pennsylvania is currently looking into privatizing its lottery. But one official with the Illinois lottery, the only private system in the nation, is warning the commonwealth to carefully plan how it would choose a company to manage day-to-day operations.

Could the Pennsylvania lottery be privatized?
Source: Jan Murphy, Patriot-News, June 16, 2012

PA Lottery latest target in privatization campaign
Source: Mary Wilson, WITF, April 2, 2012

Pennsylvania exploring lottery privatization
Source: John L. Micek, Morning Call, April 2, 2012

Corbett eying private lottery manager
Source: Associated Press, March 31, 2012

Gov. Tom Corbett is taking steps toward hiring a private company to run the Pennsylvania state lottery, the latest move by the Republican to shift state services to the private sector….Last year, a private group that includes GTECH and Scientific Games took over management of Illinois’ lottery with promises to boost sales and revenue. The group gets a $15-million-a-year management fee and a percentage of profits it produces above a certain level….