[Fwd: Press release]

Judy Olsen (wholepie@speakeasy.org)
Wed, 03 Feb 1999 06:08:40 -0800

I am very curious about how you react to this one. --  Judy O

Ken Patience wrote:

>   January 25, 1999.
> Privatization one step closer with layoffs
> Toronto  The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health last week took
> what workers warn is a dangerous step towards the privatization of
> mental health services. Following the recommendations of outside
> consultants, the board of trustees announced the downsizing of 65
> support services staff and contracting out of several management
> positions. "They say this is a compromise," says Nancy Pridham, a
> nurse and OPSEU member. "How can removing people with direct
> experience with the mentally ill be anything but a compromise to
> patient care?"
> "The board has made a Pontius Pilate decision," says Richard Coburn,
> a housekeeping worker at the Queen Street facility. "They've
> basically washed their hands and left the decision-making to the
> consultants."
> Workers are concerned that the outsourcing of food will have a
> negative impact on the nutritional needs of patients. "This is
> unacceptable in a facility where food is an integral part of
> treatment," says Pridham.
> In two reports submitted to the board of the Centre for Addictions
> and Mental Health, the union concluded that contracting-out costs
> more than it saves. Snow removal brought the issue of contracted-out
> work home more recently: "It took days," says Coburn, "and even then
> they managed to bury the fire hydrants and cover the fire doors. It
> was a health and safety disaster."
> In an open letter to the board, the union concludes that the only
> way to provide safe, efficient, and cost-effective services, is to
> do it yourself. "Keeping services in-house gives you flexibility and
> accountability. Once you contract out, you have no control over the
> quality of services provided, and they go straight downhill."
> "From the beginning of our discussions about contracting out,
> management kept referring to support services as non-core
> activities or the hotel-side of the operation," says Addiction
> Research Foundation editorial coordinator Myles Magner. "They have
> no concern for maintaining the quality of services, whether its
> food preparation, cleaning, or keeping the buildings in good working
> order."
> Contact: Nancy Pridham, 532.2712, Myles Magner, 595.6713
> --
> | Ontario                    Ken.Patience@opseu.tor250.org
> |    Public
> |       Service
> |          Employees
> |             Union
> --