Saturday, October 01, 2011

Court Blocks Privatization of GR Home for Veterans Aides

The new state budget that takes effect today calls for the privatization of long-time health care aides at the GR Home for Veterans. Read the back story here. A last-minute Hail Mary made by the workers to a judge pointed out that the private aides already at the home had been responsible for some grave mistakes...

In a news release, union officials claimed privatized caregivers from J2S Group already working at the 650-bed home have improperly handled veterans and are unfit for the job.

One veteran suffered a broken neck because of a privatized worker, the release said. A gastric tube in another veteran was removed by a privatized worker, hospitalizing the veteran, according to the release.

... and the judge agreed to block the plans to privatize until a hearing can be held.

The judge said the plan would result in irreparable harm to the veterans residing in the home.

For now, 170 state workers will be able to keep the jobs that many rallied for back in July.

The judge scheduled a hearing on the issue for October 12th.

A victory for the vets - for now. Stay tuned.

More... It was a resident of the home that filed the suit.

(Anthony) Spallone, 64, stood in the hall outside his room with tears in his eyes as he talked about the good news.

“I just want good care,” said Spallone, a Vietnam veteran. He gets it, he said, from the state-employed health care aides.

“They’re like family,” he said. “They’re the ones who see us first and tell the nurses and doctors, ‘Something’s not quite right with Tony. Something’s not right with Jack.’ They go to our funerals. They’re not paid to do that. They bring us Christmas presents. The private company people aren’t gonna do that.”

He tells of one state-employed aide the other day who took his bedspread home to wash it.

“This isn’t a done deal,” Spallone said, “but I hope when the hearing comes these people can all come back to work, and stay.”

He brought the suit, he says, “Because I can speak up for these guys, some who can’t speak up for themselves.”

Good luck to you, and to everyone there. I hope it works out.