Source: Public Citizen news release, February 7, 2008
In a win for consumers, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a private California debt collector can be sued for its overly aggressive tactics, even though the company is working on the behalf of local prosecutors.
The company, American Corrective Counseling Services Inc. (ACCS), is a so-called “check diversion” company, meaning that it uses its contract with local prosecutors to send out letters on official stationary threatening consumers who have written bad checks with criminal prosecution or jail unless they pay collection fees.
Source: By Alison Hewitt, Pasadena Star News (CA), 02/25/2008 12:36:26 AM PST
A proposal from the county’s health department riled supporters and detractors last week, with disagreements fueled by confusion over what the plan would do – and whether the department misled county supervisors.
Supervisors said they were told that DHS intended to close 11 of the department’s 12 health clinics. Department of Health Services Director Bruce Chernof and county CEO Bill Fujioka called that a misunderstanding. They said the proposal had always been to find private management for those 11 clinics, including the La Puente Health Center.
Source: By: MADELINE MCCURRY SCHMIDT, California Aggie, 1/28/08
A delegation of six Sodexho workers met at Mrak Hall on Friday to speak to Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef regarding the demands of Sodexho food service workers to become university employees. Vanderhoef was out of the office, so the Sodexho employees spoke with assistant executive vice chancellor Bob Loessberg-Zahl to ask for the higher wages and better benefits that they hoped would come with university employment.
…….. Sodexho is the food service contractor that provides service to the dining commons, retail food service and catering service at UC Davis.
The six Sodexho workers were joined by two organizers from the union of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Max Alper, an organizer of the group, said the food-service employees are directly employed by the University of California on all other UC campuses except for UC Davis.
Source: By David Haldane, Los Angeles Times (CA), January 24, 2008
A contract Orange County employee who worked with welfare recipients was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $300,000 from the county, authorities said.
……. At the time of the alleged crimes — from 2005 to 2007 — Gonzalez was a supervisor for Arbor Education and Training, an independent company contracted to provide services including financial assistance for housing and basic needs.
Source: Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle (CA), Tuesday, January 8, 2008
San Francisco leaders are considering changes to the 15-year-old agreement that turned over control of the city’s zoo to a nonprofit group, effectively relinquishing the city’s direct oversight of an institution that at the time faced the loss of its accreditation because of conditions that one report described as “literally disgraceful.”
Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the Recreation and Park Commission on Monday to hold a special public hearing into last month’s attack by one of the zoo’s tigers, which killed one visitor and injured two others. The hearing, Newsom said, would review the management agreement between the city and the San Francisco Zoological Society to “further investigate how this incident could have happened and how we can prevent future incidents.”
Source: By: PATRICK McCARTNEY, California Aggie 10/29/07
Sodexho has agreed to provide its campus food service employees higher wages and better benefits, as the food service company and UC Davis signed a memorandum of understanding Oct. 22 outlining a new agreement. The memorandum finalizes an agreement made between the university and Sodexho over the summer.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, Sodexho will improve employee medical benefits by increasing its employer-employee contribution ratio from 60-to-40 percent to 80-to-20 percent. Sodexho career employees will also receive a $100 monthly stipend to offset health care costs, though it may be spent however the employee desires.
Source: Jon R. Luoma, Mother Jones, November/December 2002
Contamination, riots, rate increases, scandals. From Atlanta to Manila, cities are confronting the true cost of water privatization.