Mich. unions cite safety as lawmakers consider more privatization

Contractors note early problems, but insist they are providing the state with good value for less money

By C1 Staff

LANSING — Unions are asking lawmakers to consider safety as more privatization is being considered.

While contracts acknowledged early problems with food privatization and nursing aides at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, they insist that they are providing the state good value for less money, according to the Detroit Free Press.

State employee unions are attempting to make their voices heard today during a commission meeting in Lansing, where considerations include a bill that would place a cap on the state inmate populations, possibly sending overflow to private prisons.

“I can always buy a broken refrigerator cheaper than a new one, but it won’t keep my food cold,” said the director of one of the unions in written remarks prepared for the meeting.

“I will quickly lose any ‘savings’ in spoiled food, or, worse, illness from consuming it.”

The Civil Service Commission has yet to rule on the unions’ appeal of the state’s decision to privatize prison food services through Aramark Correctional Services, a change which took place in December.

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