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This year’s version of the “AFSCME bill”

Thursday, Mar 30, 2017

* AP

The Illinois Senate is telling Gov. Bruce Rauner it doesn’t want prison nurse jobs filled by private contractors.

Plainview Republican Sen. Sam McCann’s measure won approval Wednesday 40-15. It would prohibit the Department of Corrections from eliminating jobs of any state employees who provide prison health care services.

Republican Rauner’s administration announced last week it intended to dismiss 124 union nurses and privatize their positions this summer.

* Finke

The Senate voted 40-15 on Senate Bill 19, whose chief sponsor is Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview. […]

“We have to really think about what’s best for our districts, what’s best for the state, what’s best for these facilities, what’s best for the safety within the facilities,” he said, citing a 400-page study by the federal government that showed serious understaffing by Wexford. There have also been multiple lawsuits filed by inmates alleging inadequate care by Wexford.

“Wexford’s busy counting their money in Pennsylvania. I’m trying to keep Illinoisans working,” McCann said.

Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, said that Wexford has offered to hire at least some of the laid-off nurses. […]

A similar bill passed the General Assembly last year, but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The bill died when the House failed to override the veto.

* Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner says his plan would save 8 million dollars per year. Private companies, in his view, can do the same work for cheaper. However, Democrats say that’s because private companies don’t pay their workers well. Four Republican senators, including Sam McCann from Plainview, agreed.

“Why can’t we be for working people?” he said. “Why would we let these nurses go, then hire them back the next day…for less.”

The Rauner administration says Illinois has been outsourcing other prison health services for 25 years.

* Related…

* Menard prison nurse hopes to keep job after layoff notice: For 11 years, Tara Chadderton has worked a graveyard shift at Menard Correctional Center. This past week, she received a layoff notice from the state. This prison nurse refuses to go quietly into the night. Employment in a maximum security prison is not for everyone, but Chadderton said she has found it to be a good fit for her. It takes a certain amount of mental toughness, as there are occasions when she and the other nurses are harassed by the inmates while they make the rounds delivering medication. They have been spit on, and had excrement thrown at them. She said some nights are worse than others.

* Layoffs looming as nurses worry about prison care: She said it is important nurses stand their ground sometimes to get their patients the care that is needed. “These people are somebody’s brother, somebody’s loved one. They’re people, too,” she said. “It’s not my job to judge. We’re hired to take care of them.”

* 13 Dixon prison nurses bracing for layoffs

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    “This privatization scheme would screw the hard working families of my district! Who does the governor think we are? Chicago?!?”

    – MrJM


  2. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    This will be a good test of the amount of GOP support to go around the Governor on things. IF they can manage a veto-proof number in the House, and IF both chambers over-ride the expected veto, THEN there is a possibility of a budget this year.


  3. - Seats - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    RNUG - aren’t they already short of a veto proof by 3 votes if it was 40-15?


  4. - Reese's Pieces - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    AFSCME has members that are Wexford Health Services employees working at Correctional Facilities (like Pontiac and others.) So the 120+ getting laid off are only in INA, and AFSCME-based Wexford people are able to stay on the job (for now.) This is Rauner’s way to pick off smaller unions before getting AFSCME’s head on a platter? What other explanation is there?


  5. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    == RNUG - aren’t they already short of a veto proof by 3 votes if it was 40-15? ==

    At the moment, yes. But we at least see some Senate members willing to stick their neck out, so there is a ray of hope.


  6. - RetiredStateEmployee - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    Somebody needs to ask to see the math on the 8mil per year. That average savings of 64,500 per nurse for 124 nurses. I don’t see how that could possibly be.


  7. - Seats - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    My fault. They need to flip 2 ‘no’ votes to ‘yes’ not 3.


  8. - Maximus - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    If Illinois had the money to pay top dollar for these workers then I would say this bill is a waste of time. Since Illinois is in dire straits financially then this bill makes sense along with any other cost cutting measures. Saving 8 million a year is just a small start to closing the massive hole in the budget.


  9. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    I don’t get it. Just because it is pro-Union doesn’t mean it anything like our AFSCME bills which required interest arbitration if negotiations failed. With respect caking it such garners antipathy.


  10. - Earnest - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    >“Wexford’s busy counting their money in Pennsylvania. I’m trying to keep Illinoisans working,” McCann said.

    I am thrilled to see someone making this point. I abhor the trend of contracting services to large, multi-state corporations, which is Rauner’s vision of Illinois state contracting.

    >The Rauner administration says Illinois has been outsourcing other prison health services for 25 years.

    I think Governor Rauner would make the point in one of his campaign videos that, just because the state has been doing things a certain way over the past couple of decades, he is willing to stand against “business as usual.” /s


  11. - Whatever - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    $8 million in savings for replacing 124 nurses? That’s $64,516 per year. I’d like to see the math on that.


  12. - Whatever - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    That should say per position per year.


  13. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    == “Wexford’s busy counting their money in Pennsylvania. I’m trying to keep Illinoisans working,” McCann said. ==

    We need more of an emphasis on “Buy Local”.


  14. - Juice - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Seats, it takes 36 votes in the Senate to override a veto.


  15. - Birdseed - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    I could see the math working out easily if they are currently Tier 1 employees making 6 figures. They would consider their undoubtedly large pensions throughout retirement years. Then back out to the annual cost of money to fund them long term.


  16. - illini - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    I am so glad to see that my Sen. McCarter is attempting to be engaged, relevant and sympathetic to the plight of his constituents in this debate, /s/


  17. - Langhorne - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    $8 mil in savings, $64.5 k per job
    Rauner coveniently failed to say if that is for one year, two years, or what. Even if for three years, its a whack.

    As corrections employees, they are prob being paid under court order. Where is the approp to pay for a new contract?


  18. - Anonime - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    They need to pass a bill that any outsourcing is to Illinois based companies. that’s part of the problem now when all our tax money is going out of state to support large corporations. Anyone looking into what relationship Rauner has with Wexford?


  19. - working stiff - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    “Nicole Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said the move will save $8 million a year and streamline delivery of medical services.”

    exactly how does this save 8 million a year? is someone going to do the work free of charge? if outsourced, you still have to pay for the workforce. are there any numbers to show what the outsourcing would cost?


  20. - Dr. X - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Why can’t we be for working people?” he said

    Because you haven’t been since Teddy Roosevelt?


  21. - WEX - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Let start with some history. The reason we have state nurses is they are at older facility’s (prisons) and where never changed. They do the same exact jobs that the privatized nurses do with over double the pay and state benefits (Pension). So is it fair to pay say 85% of privatized nurses doing the same exact job. It makes me sick to see a older prison in the deep south with state nurses transfer its work to another prison next door with private nurses. The private nurses get dumped on and get paid half the salary. Its really sad AFSCME represents both state and private nurses but have never stood up to make the private nurses state. Its not a thing that the state nurses are better qualified, its they where more connected to get hired at a state nurse facility. I support the private nurses doing more work with half the pay!!!!!!!!!!!


  22. - d.p.gumby - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    States privatize prisons and prison food and prison health. States “save” money. Prisoners die. That’s how government runs like a “business”.


  23. - Power House Prowler - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 7:18 pm:

    You will never get ownership of equipment and buildings as good as you will with state employees. Contract vendors come in, put out the fire and leave. State employees know what is wrong with equipment and take care of it to keep it operational.


  24. - Present - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 7:32 pm:

    I had no idea. However, this is not what I am paid to do. Is this correct? There are only a little over 100 state employee nurses? If that is true this was over a long time ago. Before Rauner?


  25. - property of IDOC - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 10:14 pm:

    The Feds recently published a report denouncing privatization of prisons. Greater risk, greater cost, findings were generally negative in every aspect researched.


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