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Commission upholds privatization at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

The Holland Sentinel • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

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.

"It's very unfortunate," AFSCME attorney Richard Mack said. "If anybody is deserving of high-quality care, it's people who have been injured on the battlefield fighting for our freedoms."

JoAnne Cripps, nursing director at the home run by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said the facility is going through a transition period but "we have basically the same level of care."

Read more of this Holland Sentinel story by clicking HERE.

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