An Ingham County judge ordered a halt Friday to the state's plans to privatize nursing aide positions at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, saying she feared the change would cause "irreparable harm" to the more than 600 vets who live there.Now this might confuse or even enrage some of my conservative readers who can't understand why these people wouldn't want to cut spending. But further down in the article, it is explained:
The privatization plan "all comes down to money, really," said Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield, noting state officials said they need to save $18,000 a day by turning 170 resident care aide positions over to a private contractor who pays workers about half as much money.
"Budgets can be adjusted," she said. "The home can make cuts in other areas, or perhaps they can get some more money from the state."
But Manderfield said she was concerned about evidence of injuries caused to veterans at the hands of inexperienced contract workers. She said she's also concerned by recent ads the company has placed, still trying to fill the positions the state asked the company to take over. She also said drug testing for the new employees, as required under the contract, was "a joke" due to lack of security surrounding urine samples.Snyder should be ashamed of even considering treating our brave men and women this way. They risked their very lives for this country and Snyder wants to thank them by putting them in harm's way so that the rich can keep getting richer. That is simply disgusting.
"The court believes the plaintiff has established there will be irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted," the judge said.
"Through the whole process, no one has really cared until now," union president Mark Williams said after the hearing. "Finally, today, quality of care trumped money."
Spallone told the commission he has lived at the home for more than two years after suffering health problems related to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
He described what he said were unsanitary practices by contracted resident care aides, such as throwing urine- and feces-stained sheets on clean floors.
"It's bad enough we're disabled and can't go back to work," Spallone said. "Now you want us to be thrown to the wolves."
And before anyone thinks, "Well, that's Michigan. We wouldn't do that here," I'd tell them to think again.
Scott Walker has already shown a propensity for privatizing everything he can and selling what he can't. To aid him in this, he has, over the objections of honorable veterans, has appointed the scurrilous and corrupt John Scocos to head up the Veterans Affair Board.
This is one more area that we will need to watch closely and be prepared to defend until we can reclaim our state from the corporations and return it to the people.