Tag Archives: New York

Union says state is wasting money on private consultants

Source: Capital 9 News (NY), 05/09/2008 06:22 AM

A union representing state employees said New York is wasting taxpayer dollars. The Public Employees Federation said the state is hiring private consultants when it should be using state workers.

Using data from the state Comptroller’s Office, PEF did a study which said New York State could save $700 million if it stopped hiring consultants and used state workers to do the same jobs.

OSHA slaps Sodexho with safety violations

Source: Business First of Buffalo, Monday, May 5, 2008 – 1:02 PM EDT

A list of repeated and serious violations of federal health and safety standards has resulted in fines and penalties adding up to $77,125 against Sodexho Inc.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration disclosed the allegations Monday, citing the Buffalo company following inspections earlier this year. The inspections of a facility at 60 Grider St. were prompted by employee complaints, OSHA said.

….. Sodexho, which operates a laundry service at the site, has 15 days to contest the charges.

For state workers, a season of outrage after years of service

Source: Casey Seiler, Times Union (NY), Friday, May 2, 2008

There’s a long list of people who should feel cheated by the revelation that some public entities have for years been handing out pension credits to private contractors. The investigation began by looking at lawyers who handled routine work for the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES cooperative and several downstate school districts, but it’s expanding.

In a grim season for reform, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli deserve credit for going after a practice that was as long-standing as it is egregious.

…… But there’s another class of New Yorker that has an even more righteous claim to anger over this mess, and that’s anyone paying into a legitimately earned government pension — state workers, teachers, local government employees among them.

Workers protest as nursing home sale mulled

Source: BY REID J. EPSTEIN, Newsday (NY), March 25, 2008

A week after County Executive Steve Levy proposed studying selling Suffolk’s John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, the fight over the facility intensified yesterday as Levy warned of possible layoffs and employees protested any sale.

About two dozen nurses and other employees picketed over any potential sale outside the 264-resident nursing home in Yaphank, holding signs saying the county should sell Levy rather than the Foley facility.

…….”To balance the budget on the backs of the sick is unconscionable,” said Deborah McKee, a vice president of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees.

Cafeteria Workers Take Protest to Wall Street

Source: New York Times DealBook blog, March 6, 2008, 8:06 am

Hundreds of cafeteria and other food-service workers rallied in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon for higher wages and improved benefits as part of an ongoing battle between Aramark and the union Unite Here, which represents about 20,000 Aramark employees, including about 4,000 in the New York region.

State joins list of others tapping into lottery

Source: By Joseph Spector, Ithaca Journal (NY), January 11, 2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s announcement this week to explore a lease of the state lottery puts New York among a number of states looking to roll the dice on getting an infusion of cash to pay for services.

But from constitutionality questions to concerns about the social consequences of putting the gambling operations in private hands, no state has yet to adopt the potentially lucrative deals.

Lawmakers and gaming experts Thursday questioned whether New York would face the same issues as it explores either selling future lottery revenue in a lump sum or leasing it to a private entity for possibly up to 40 years.

School Construction Authority / Back on the job!

Source: By GREGORY N. HEIRES, Public Employee Press (NY), November 2007

About 40 Local 375 members who were laid off in the budget crisis of 2003 have returned to the School Construction Authority, capping a long campaign by the union to win back their jobs.

….. The authority’s failure to meet its legal obligation to assign 40 percent of its design, drafting and inspection to in-house staff was at the core of the lawsuit. For years, the local had contended that SCA was not meeting that requirement; the suit showed the union was right.

Private care for inmates weighed

Source: By CAROL DeMARE, Albany Times Union (NY), Monday, November 12, 2007

County officials are contemplating hiring an outside company to run the mental health unit at the jail, partly because of the suicides of three inmates in the last two years.

Tentative plans call for privatizing the unit within the next six months, even before a new $13 million annex is built at Albany County Correctional Facility on Albany Shaker Road to house 80 to 100 mentally ill inmates.

State says poor care preceded teen's hanging at county facility

Source: Michael Zeigler, Democrat & Chronicle (NY), August 23, 2007

A state commission has concluded that a private company gave inadequate mental health treatment to a teenager who hanged himself in Monroe County Jail.

A report by the state Commission of Correction stopped short of saying that Correctional Medical Services Inc. of St. Louis, which contracts with the county to provide medical care to jail inmates, was responsible for the death of 16-year-old Javon Leggett on Aug. 29, 2004.

Another Official Tied to Jail Services Quits

Source: By PAUL von ZIELBAUER, New York Times, January 31, 2006

The deputy commissioner responsible for the city health department’s Medicaid and jail health care programs resigned last Friday after only seven months on the job. His resignation is the latest of several recent departures and reassignments of doctors and administrators who supervised jail medical and mental health services, including the resignation this month of the assistant commissioner who oversaw the jail health program’s daily operation. ….. Managing a jail health care program as complex as New York City’s is a daunting task for any administrator, one that the city’s Tennessee-based medical contractor, Prison Health Services, has often made more difficult, city officials say, since taking over the contract in 2001. With varying degrees of success, city health officials have repeatedly prodded the company to improve its care, particularly for mentally ill and suicidal inmates, six of whom hung themselves during a six-month period in 2003. At the moment, only one of the top two jobs in charge of the health department’s jail health care program is filled, and not by a doctor, leaving no one with much experience dealing with inmates’ medical problems to monitor Prison Health Services.