Tag Archives: Michigan

CITY TO HIKE WATER RATES / City loses $65 million to privatization

Source:By Diane
Bukowski, The Michigan
,March 23,


 If approved by City Council,
combined water and sewerage rates this year will skyrocket 12.3 percent for
residents, and 5.6 percent for suburbanities. Detroit sewerage increases alone would amount
to a 15.8 percent increase, with an additional surcharge expected later in the
year to defray delinquency rates in the city.

……… Riehl and other water department workers said that costly private contracts account for the rest of the rate increases.

….. On
March 12, Riehl presented a list of contracted work that DWSD have performed or
be trained to do so, saving DWSD a total of $65

Bloomfield Hills Schools won’t outsource bus, custodial services

Source: HometownLife.com
(MI), March 27,


Custodial and transportation
services for the Bloomfield Hills Schools will not be privatized. Instead, the
school board voted unanimously Thursday night to adopt a new five-year contract
with AFSCME Local 1628, which
covers the district’s approximately 178 bus drivers and custodians. The new
agreement, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009, and runs through Dec. 31, 2013,
will save about $2.1 million, according to the district.

It includes changes in
health care coverage and a contribution toward health care, wage reductions,
holiday and vacation day reductions and overtime changes. Wages are frozen at
their new levels for the first three years of the contract, with a wage opener
in contract years 2012 and 2013.

Cockrel: Corruption must end in Detroit

Source: BY ZACHARY GORCHOW, Detroit FREE PRESS (MI) February 11, 2009

Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. said Tuesday he plans to overhaul the city’s contracting procedures in the wake of the federal investigation into how city contracts have been awarded.

In Cockrel’s first State of the City speech — given two weeks before the mayoral primary election in which he is a candidate — he said he will assign Deputy Mayor Saul Green and others to research a method of ensuring that vendors win contracts on their merits.

Michigan chooses new prison health care company

Source: By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press (MI), updated 8:36 a.m. ET, Wed., Feb. 11, 2009

Fighting to curb rising prison health costs and stem criticism over inadequate care, Michigan on Tuesday chose a new company to help treat state prisoners with medical problems.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Prison Health Services won a three-year, $326 million contract and will take over for St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services starting April 1.

CMS has been overseeing hospital and specialty care for the Michigan Department of Corrections for a decade. But a year ago, a review ordered by Gov. Jennifer Granholm revealed that most doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants hired by CMS were seeing too few inmates a day.

Council Wants To End Synagro Contract

Source: ClickonDetroit.com, 6:19 p.m. ET, Tues., Jan. 27, 2009

 The Detroit City Council has approved a resolution 7-1 to rescind the controversial $1.2 billion Synagro Technologies sludge recycling contract after a company executive pleaded guilty to bribing city council members for their votes.

“That contract was tainted and is tainted. … Detroit should rescind it,” said Council Member Kwame Kenyatta.

……. The resolution was created after AFSCME Local 207 Union President John Riehl demanded the council void the contract because of the bribery scandal.

Union calls for city to dump sludge contract

(MI), January 26,


Officials with a local union say
today’s developments in the Synagro Technologies scandal should prompt the city
to immediately cancel its contract with the sludge disposal company.  “The whole
contract process is infected by the virus of influence peddling and bribery and
the federal documents make that clear,” said Mike Mulholland,
secretary/treasurer for the American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 207
alluding to court documents obtained by the Free Press this morning in the plea
deal with Synagro executive James


Related article from the Detroit
News: City
union wants to void Synagro contract

Sell, cut are Detroit’s options in fiscal fight

Source: David Josar and
Christine Macdonald,The Detroit News
(MI),Monday, January 26,


 When Mayor Kenneth
Cockrel Jr. wields the financial ax to deal with the city’s deficit, he is
likely to rely on a combination of cutting jobs, closing parks and recreation
centers, and raising revenue by the continued sell-off of city assets and a
retooled lease of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

…… Cockrel’s staffers have said a resurrected deal to squeeze more money out of the Detroit/Windsor tunnel is also likely a part of the plan.

Kilpatrick wanted to sell the Detroit half to Windsor to raise $65 million for the city’s general fund but the deal was torpedoed by the council, which questioned selling the asset.

A Guide to Contracting Out School Support Services: Good for the School? Good for the Community?

Source: William J. Mathis, Ph.D., Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, Lorna Jimerson, Ed. D., Champlain Valley Union High School, The Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, March 2008 [31-page report]

……. Virtually all school systems have historically used and continue to use private vendors to some degree. In many cases, contracting out is simply the most efficient, practical and prudent path. Yet, the appealing promises of commercial vendors to provide higher quality services at cheaper prices while relieving administrative headaches are not always realized. This paper reviews critical considerations for school officials considering contracting out. These include hidden costs, quality control. impact on administrative time, social costs, and loss of control and restricted flexibility.

Albion school jobs defended

Source: Larry O’Connor, Enquirer (MI), October 16, 2008

Three Albion Public Schools [AFSCME Local 2826] library secretaries gained a reprieve after parents and teachers alike made an emotional plea to halt an attempt to privatize their jobs at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Albion Board of Education members responded by tabling the recommendation, which would have saved at least $22,000 this year and possibly $60,000 in 2009. The move was being considered in light of the district’s $700,000 budget deficit — a shortfall that likely will be exacerbated as September’s district student count revealed a loss of five to 10 more students than projected. Under the proposal, Kelly Educational Services would have overseen library staffing. The three library secretaries affected would have been able to re-apply for their jobs.

Privatization among budget considerations / City Council talking about realm of possibilities, which include DPW

Source: By Lisa Allmendinger, Milan News (MI), October 9, 2008

The possible privatization of the city’s Department of Public Works was the focus of the Milan City Council’s preliminary budget discussions Monday night.

….. Angela Tabor, a union representative from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25, urged the council to look at the relationships it has with its employees, and requested that the city sit down with union representatives to talk before making a final decision.