Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Nashua BOE rejects privatization plan

Source: Hannah Laclaire, The Telegraph, February 28, 2018 (Abstract)
The Nashua Board of Education has rejected privatization, ending two and a half years of discussion about the topic and protecting more than 100 union service-based jobs within the district. … Last fall, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire sided with the Nashua School District in an appeal from the union that the district committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain with the Nashua Custodial/Janitorial Staff concerning the district’s plan to move toward privatization at the end of the term of the “collective bargaining agreement between the parties.” …


School board-custodian case moves close to Supreme Court
Source: Tina Forbes, The Telegraph, September 22, 2016 (Abstract)

The Nashua School District is one step closer to having its case considered by the New Hampshire Supreme Court after the state Public Employee Labor Relations Board denied the district’s request for a rehearing on its plan to privatize some of its custodial workforce. The labor board handed down its decision on Tuesday, more than a month after the school board voted to appeal the labor board’s initial decision in favor of the district’s custodians.

Hassan Hopes for ‘Fair Resolution’ As Nashua Custodians Fight For Jobs
Source: Jason Claffey, Nashua Patch, August 10, 2016

Gov. Maggie Hassan is hoping for a “fair resolution” for union custodians at Nashua schools as they fight to keep their jobs. In the fall, the Nashua Board of Education voted 7-1 to end its contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 100 custodians in Nashua. … Gov. Maggie Hassan on Tuesday released a statement on the dispute: “Nashua custodians help ensure (a) safe, clean learning environment. Hope all work in good faith to reach fair resolution.”

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Members of the First Student bus union threaten to strike Thursday morning

Source: Gina Marini, NH1, November 14, 2016

Parents across the state could be scrambling to find their children rides to school this week as bus drivers threaten to strike. Buses were screeching to a halt as they arrived to schools this afternoon picking kids up to bring them home, but as early as Thursday morning, workers of the First Student bus union say they might strike. “They first sent out an email notification to parents on Nov. 3 just to notify them of a potential work-stoppage,” said Michael Tori, Superintendent of Belmont schools. First Student told NH1 News, “There is a labor dispute out of Belmont right now. We’re actively working with the union to solve that.” If the strike does happen, it will directly affect schools across the state. Some of those schools are in Canterbury, Alton, Gilford, Laconia, and Belmont. Superintendent Tori says he has a plan in place. …

Privatizing County Nursing Home gets thumbs down from commission

Source: Source: The Laconia Daily Sun, January 21, 2016

A majority of the Belknap County Commission yesterday turned thumbs down on a proposal that the county look at managed care organizations to take over the operation of the Belknap County Nursing Home. Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton), who last week met with members of the state Department of Health and Human Services about Medicaid rate setting, said that he knew of two private companies who have submitted ideas about managing the nursing home. … But County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said that his goal is to make sure that the nursing home is run efficiently. “I’m not interested in privatizing the nursing home at this time.” …


Privatize Belknap County Nursing Home

Source: Laconia Daily Sun, December 3, 2015
The county should look at selling the Belknap County Nursing Home, according to Belknap County Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton), addressing members of the Belknap County Convention’s Executive Committee last evening. His comments came during a discussion of the current county budget and the $6.1 million in the health and human services line which represents payments made to the state of New Hampshire for county residents who are in private nursing homes and who are covered by Medicaid. … Burchell observed that there is no real possibility of expanding the number of beds in the county facility and that the county has a burgeoning population of those eligible for elderly services, which will drive up nursing home costs, public and private, for the county.

Poor Training Standards Led to Bad Care in N.H. Facility

Source: Matthew Ozga, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) blog, January 8, 2015

A New Hampshire facility for people who have brain injuries is under scrutiny from the state for providing low-quality care to residents — the result of an under-trained direct-care staff, a third-party report found. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) on December 15 ordered the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) to stop placing patients at the Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center, an 88-bed facility in Effingham. The announcement came several months after the Disability Rights Center, a nonprofit watchdog group, issued two reports which argued that Lakeview was guilty of numerous “pervasive deficiencies,” including “a lack of professional oversight, training, coordination of care, inadequate staffing levels, and lack of communication between and among Lakeview’s staff, residents’ families, and guardians.”
DHHS reviewing Lakeview Center correction plan
Source: John Koziol, New Hampshire Union Leader, January 7, 2015

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a plan of correction filed by the Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center, whose alleged poor treatment of persons with acquired brain injuries and developmental disabilities prompted the state to stop sending patients there. The 88-bed Lakeview was strongly criticized last fall in two white papers released by the New Hampshire Disabilities Rights Center, which said there were systemic deficiencies at the facility which in one case led to the death of a patient. The deficiencies, the DRC said, included “lack of professional oversight; inadequate coordination of medical, neurologic and psychiatric care; inadequate staffing levels; lack of training for, and indifference of, some direct support staff; and broad failures in communication between and among Lakeview’s staff and between Lakeview and its residents’ families and guardians.”…

State: Range of staffing issues led to ‘bad outcomes’ at Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation
Source: John Koziol, New Hampshire Union Leader, December 15, 2014

A report released this morning says that “chronic and acute staffing deficits” improper supervision, as well as deficiencies in training, communication and crisis management at the Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center led to “problematic incidents” and “bad outcomes” for patients there. …. On Sept. 30, the NH Disabilities Rights Center released two documents that the center said showed systemic, long-term deficiencies at Lakeview, which has centers in Effingham and Belmont. The group alleges one of those incidents lead to the death of a patient. …..The full licensing report is available on the DHHS website and by typing in Lakeview under “Facility Name.”….

Farmington school privatization of food services ruled unlawful

Source: Daily Democrat, April 10, 2014

The Public Employee Labor Relations Board has ruled the Farmington Schools District has violated New Hampshire labor laws when they outsourced and privatized food services in the district. The decision to privatize food services, made during a last-minute board meeting in August, meant Farmington food service employees would have their wages cut and the loss of their current benefits including sick leave and participation in their health care plan and in the New Hampshire Retirement System. … This most recent PELRB decision comes on the heels of a prior decision that found Farmington Superintendent Steven Welford had violated New Hampshire labor laws on four separate occasions in 2012 and 2013….

State of New Hampshire – Community Development Finance Authority

Source: State of New Hampshire, Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, Performance Audit Report, January 2014

We found the Community Development Finance Authority’s (CDFA) management controls needed to be improved to provide reasonable assurance awards were made or denied consistent with statute and rule. The CDFA’s purpose is to increase development projects, provide capital to business ventures, and stimulate private investment in areas where primary employment was threatened and housing was inadequate. Its adopted mission statement was not fully aligned with these priorities. As a result, we found a number of Community Development Investment Program (CDIP) projects approved during the audit period appeared to deviate from the CDFA’s original purpose. Many approved projects we reviewed did not conform or did not clearly conform to other statutory provisions. Further, the CDFA lacked clear operating definitions of key terms which were integral to its goals and objectives for the CDIP program and could have helped prioritize awards. Project outcomes were not tracked, limiting measurement of mission accomplishment and making it impossible to determine whether the projects the CDFA funded had the intended effect. …

… We also found the CDFA purchased commercial real estate without clear authority and committed public funds to support the limited liability company it created. In addition, the CDFA’s conflict of interest and recusal polices should be improved to ensure those who may have had a conflict of interest could not influence decisions. Policy allowed recused Board of Directors and Community Development Advisory Committee members to discuss, ask questions, and answer questions about a project. The CDFA also inconsistently conformed to laws generally applicable to State agencies and needed to improve management controls in several areas. Many of these conditions can be attributed to the CDFA’s interpretation of its purpose and its authority as a nonprofit corporation…

Profiting from the Poor: Outsourcing Social Services Puts Most Vulnerable at Risk

Source: Nick Surgey, Center for Media & Democracy, October 8, 2013

…. The privatization of social services has in the past resulted in some spectacular failures. …. As private corporations like ACS and Maximus rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in massive contracts, and their executives rake in colossal compensation packages, shareholder profits and warped incentives detract from the standards of care provided by these corporations….

…As some cash strapped governments choose to balance the budget on the backs of children and families, corporate contractors’ profits are soaring.

According to SEC filings, Maximus raked in total revenue of $1.05 billion during its 2012 fiscal year, with CEO, Richard Montoni receiving more than four million dollars. Over the past five years his total compensation has been $16,194,847. From 2008-2012, Maximus’ top executives have pulled in $41,808,585, with substantial revenue from state taxpayers.

During the 2012 fiscal year, ACS’s parent company, Xerox, took in $22.3 billion. Lynn Blodgett, the former CEO of ACS (prior to its acquisition by Xerox) who is currently a Xerox Executive Vice President, made $7,561,949 in total compensation last year.

In the three years since Xerox bought ACS, Blodgett’s compensation has totaled $17,475,776. Xerox — which directly benefits from the government contracting work done by ACS and its other division — compensated its top executives a total of $124,842,705 from 2008-2012….

Casella Awarded Ten-Year Waste and Recycling Service Contract by the City of Concord, New Hampshire

Source: Globe Newswire, Press Release, September 3, 2013

Casella Waste Systems, Inc., a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management company, said today that the City of Concord, New Hampshire has awarded the company a ten-year waste and recycling collection contract, including other solid waste and recycling management services. … The agreement provides for residential curbside collection of municipal solid waste (MSW) and recycling, transfer and disposal of the City’s solid waste, operation of the City’s transfer station, waste and recycling collection services in the City’s downtown district, yard waste collection, and collection services for municipal agencies, events and activities. The company expects to internalize over 30,000 tons of MSW and recyclables through the residential contract, and commercial waste through the City’s solid waste and recycling ordinance. Casella currently provides service for Concord under the City’s current contract with BBI, Inc., which Casella acquired in late-2012. Casella’s new agreement with the City begins on July 1, 2014; the agreement covering the transfer and disposal of Concord’s solid waste begins on January 1, 2015. All portions of the contract run through June 30, 2024. The contract has an option for two 5 year extensions. …

Concord School District puts food service privatization on hold

Source: Kathleen Ronayne, Monitor, April 16, 2013

Food service employees in the Concord School District will keep their jobs for at least another year, as administrators have put possible privatization on hold for now. .. Administrators told the cooks one reason they were holding off for a year is because they felt that they didn’t give the workers enough notice, Byrne said. But Dunn said the main reason for the delay is that they need more time to research privatization and study the state of the current program.
Concord school administrators consider privatizing food services
Source: Kathleen Ronayne, Monitor, April 3, 2013

The Concord School District is exploring the possible benefits of privatizing its food services, a move that is drawing sharp criticism from employees even in its early stages. …. A private company, such as Cafe Services or Chartwells, may have more money and better resources to comply with new federal regulations on lunch offerings and for marketing and education.

State of New Hampshire – State Agency Decision-Making Practices: Employees Versus Contractors

Source: State of New Hampshire, Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, Performance Audit Report, March 2013

We were asked to examine if State agencies determined whether it was more cost-effective to hire personnel or contract for services during State fiscal year (SFY) 2012. The State agencies we examined usually did not determine whether it was more cost-effective to contract-out or provide a service in-house using existing or new State employees. Instead, agencies often reported their budgets set the number and type of employees available. This, in turn, drove contracting because remaining service needs could only be met with contractors. Some agencies did not analyze whether it would be more cost-effective to contract-out or perform a service inhouse. When analysis was undertaken, agency decision-making was usually informal or ad hoc, and agencies inconsistently considered cost, effectiveness, and risk during these analyses. No statewide law, rule, or policy required agencies conduct comparative analyses. No oversight body consistently requested agencies to report on comparative analyses.

Some governments at the state, federal, and local levels regulate their agencies’ decision-making processes when they choose between contracting-out or performing a service in-house with public employees. Efficiency and effectiveness were often the focus of these efforts. These processes often relied on structured competition to help produce cost savings and improve service quality, regardless of whether a public or a private entity was selected. Formal plans demonstrating the costs and benefits of proposed options were integral to these processes and helped ensure alternatives were considered uniformly and transparently. We compared State agency processes against these observed practices.

The 21 agencies we examined contractually obligated approximately $3.5 billion in SFY 2012 through 986 multi-year service contracts. In SFY 2012, these agencies were budgeted for approximately $754 million in personnel-related expenditures. The vast majority of these commitments were entered into without the benefit of a comparative analysis to determine which was in the State’s best interest.

We recommend the Legislature consider defining inherently governmental functions and commercial services, and provide guidance on when agencies must: 1) provide a service using State employees, 2) provide a service using contractors, and 3) conduct analyses to determine which method is in the State’s best interest. We also recommend the Legislature consider to what extent it may wish to structure State agency decision-making processes when agency managers are required to consider whether to contract-out or provide a service using State employees. The Legislature might simply require comparisons be completed, or provide more guidance, specifying how analyses are to be completed, what analyses must include, and what oversight of decisions is required. Changes to State budget law may provide a suitable means to provide this guidance, and there may also be a need to provide a way for agencies to submit changes resulting from comparative analysis to their budget outside the normal budget cycle.

This audit did not focus on individual contracts or contracting at any one agency. We requested a response to the audit from the Department of Administrative Services in its capacity as the conduit for service contracting in the Executive Branch.