Commission upholds privatization at veterans' home
Updated: Tuesday, April 2 2013, 09:06 PM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A state commission has rejected union appeals and upheld the privatization of about 150 nursing aide jobs at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
The Detroit Free Press reports the Michigan Civil Service Commission heard two appeals from Michigan AFSCME Council 25 last month in Lansing. According to information released Monday, the commission upheld the decision to privatize the jobs.
The issue made it into the courts in 2011 as Republican Gov. Rick Snyder sought to privatize certain state services to save money.
Critics argued that the plan could harm residents. At the hearing, veterans and state workers testified that more than 600 veterans are endangered by low staffing levels and inadequate care. Contract workers are paid about $10 an hour, about half what the state workers were paid.