Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Group home worker slain; resident held / Hours-long hunt leads to troubled suspect

Source: Travis Andersen and Patricia Wen, Boston Globe, January 21, 2011

REVERE — A 27-year-old mentally troubled man was arrested last night and charged with the murder of a young female employee of the small group home where he lived….He will be charged in the slaying of Stephanie Moulton, 25, of Peabody, who had worked as a residential counselor at a group home in Revere run by the North Suffolk Mental Health Association, under contract with the state Department of Mental Health….

…Moore said her agency, in business for 50 years, has occasionally recorded altercations between staff and patients, but nothing of this magnitude. She said the agency runs training sessions to make sure staff members know how to protect themselves and reduce risks…

… At the time she was attacked, Moulton was likely to have been the only employee at the group home, which lodges up to five men with mental illness. Her job called for her to manage the food and other needs of the residents and to monitor their psychiatric medications and other therapeutic services.

MassDOT considering more in-house road plowing

Source: By GLEN JOHNSON, The Associated Press (MA)  June 21, 2010, 12:15PM

Transportation officials are examining how much money Massachusetts might save if they have state employees do more highway snow removal instead of the current patchwork of private contractors.

Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan said Monday the $57.5 million the state is preparing to spend this coming winter is ripe for scrutiny because it’s one of his bigger budget line items. And that figure is below historical averages: Massachusetts spent $66 million for plowing last winter and has spent an average of $76 million annually during the past five years.

Outsourcing push roils BC

Source: By Tracy Jan, Boston Globe (MA), January 13, 2010

 

 …….. Now, the economic downturn has prompted college officials to seek the once unimaginable, the option to outsource some duties of facility workers to save on overtime costs. Doing so, officials say, would help the school preserve jobs.

But many faculty, students, and workers are questioning the move to contract out overtime work, saying it could open the door to replacing the employees with lower-wage, nonunion workers. Such a shift would run counter to Catholic traditions of social justice, they say.

Fenway workers win settlement over tips / Aramark agrees to pay $1.5m

Source: David Abel, Boston Globe, July 31, 2009

Fenway Park food service workers who filed a class-action lawsuit against Aramark Sports have reached a settlement with the ballpark’s concessionaire, which they accused of pocketing their tips and service charges….The settlement, which received preliminary approval last month from the federal district court in Massachusetts, is part of a larger legal battle between food workers and their employers. Last month, food service workers at Boston’s two public convention centers agreed to settle a similar suit against Aramark for $1.75 million….In both cases, the workers claimed that Aramark charged customers an “administrative fee,” which they said amounted to tips that employees never received. Aramark has denied the charges.

Privatizing fire protection

Source: By Peter Funt, Boston Globe, June 30, 2009

…. On the other hand, an increasing role for private firms in basic safety services such as fire and police protection prompts concern over training procedures, reliability, and accountability. Moreover, privatization can lead to a spiral in which reduced public services cause increased private involvement, which, in turn, leads to even more cuts in public funding.

Drivers protest plan to privatize District hopes to save $450K with proposal

Source:By Amanda
McGregor,
Salem News
(MA), June 09, 2009

 

 School bus driver Carmella Cote
said she can’t count the number of times she has comforted students, or sung to
them to calm them down for the ride to and from school.  Other drivers said they
always call families if they are running late and try to adhere to a consistent
routine, which is important to many children with special needs.


….. The drivers
and monitors are members of the American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
union, which is
set to meet with the school administration on Thursday afternoon for “impact
bargaining.”  Union members said yesterday that they are ready to make
concessions in order to save their jobs.

Milford may privatize cemetery upkeep

Source: By Danielle
Ameden, Daily News
(MA), Thu Apr 16, 2009, 04:26 PM
EDT

 

MILFORD – In these
tight times, Town Administrator Louis Celozzi is proposing that the town should
privatize maintenance at the Vernon Grove and Purchase Street cemeteries for “substantial
savings.” ….. The Parks Department, which cares for the Purchase Street Cemetery, would be relieved of the extra
work and could focus on other tasks.

Food fight at Lowell school

Source:By Jennifer Myers, Lowell Sun
(MA), 04/18/2009

 

Parents dropping their kids off at
the Morey
Elementary School yesterday
morning were warned that after April vacation the students will be eating
“re-heated frozen food… rather than fresh food cooked or prepared in our own
school kitchen.”  The fliers, distributed by Michael Sheehan, former president
of the union representing the district’s custodians and cafeteria workers,
reference a pilot food-service program being started at the school on April 27



……. The current food-service program is not self-funding, running an annual
operational loss of $775,000, mostly due to the $671,000 in benefits paid out to
the district’s 115 full- and part-time cafeteria workers. …..The company
delivers the frozen meals compartmentalized. For instance, one container may
include spaghetti and meatballs ready to warm and serve, while another is filled
with mixed vegetables.

Lunch ladies on the line / School District considers non-union cafeteria workers

Source:BY DIANE C. BEAUDOIN, Leominster CHAMPION
(MA),March 20,
2009

 

 ….. Jennifer Taralli, a kitchen helper at Samoset Middle
School, and Darlene Spenser, baker at three city schools, have expressed deep
concern about the possibility of loosing their jobs within the schools.


…..
According to Taralli, the school meals are reimbursed by the state and those
funds go into a revolving account, which in turn is used to purchase the food
for the meals.  “This account has not been in the red since 1989, we are not
loosing any money. This is the only department of the school that does not cost
the city any money at all,” she said. In total, the staff of cafeteria ladies is
at 51, with 28 of those receiving health insurance through the city plan. The
cafeteria staffers are also members the AFSCME, Local 93 union.


….. The cafeteria
ladies expressed doubt that a private company would deliver the same quality and
care to the breakfast and lunch menus.

Library Professional Speaks Out on Possible Library Privatization

Source: Matt Sylvain, Southcoast Today/Chronicle, January 28, 2009

…In his research, Dr. Ward discovered that in the LSSI-run Riverside, California library system, the library’s budget rose 18% from FY 1997-98 to FY 2001-02. Meanwhile services such as circulation decreased significantly, and the unit cost for service delivery increased by 58%. Paying more and getting less is neither more efficient for the municipality, nor is it more satisfying for citizens.

There are additional reasons to question and doubt LSSI’s ability to increase efficiencies and satisfy residents. The Fargo, North Dakota library system, for instance, terminated its contract with LSSI for allegedly being delinquent in paying bills. If this isn’t bad enough, as a private firm, LSSI does not have to be transparent. It does not disclose its budget and the residents it serves do not know how their money is used. One thing the residents do know, however, is that under LSSI, some of their municipal tax dollars will go to LSSI executives in Germantown, Maryland….
See also:
Privatization Study Group, Report to Select Board, April 28, 2012