Picketing Replaces Financial Prioritization for Prisons - Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

Picketing Replaces Financial Prioritization for Prisons

Lemoyne (11.16.11) – What’s missing in the discussion about the possibility of outsourcing nursing care at Pennsylvania’s state prisons: common sense and details. The “Anti-Nursing Privatization Legislation,” House Bill 1985, which will be outlined Nov. 16, was penned in opposition to an idea to outsource nursing jobs in state prisons.

The SEIU, the state’s largest healthcare union, backs the bill to block privatization. So do two Republican legislators, state Rep. Mike Fleck (R – Huntingdon/Blair/Mifflin) and state Sen. David Argall (R – 29).

It’s obvious – state jobs are on the line – meaning, the entitlement rallying cry will kick in. “Informational” picketing has replaced asking questions about why this would be beneficial for the state as a whole.

Depending on where you read your news, you might read that the SEIU employs 750 nurses at state prisons, or 350 nurses at state prisons. Just a few thoughts: what’s the ratio of state nurses to inmates; how much would a private contract save the state; how many state nurses would “lose” their jobs; what’s the salary of a state nurse at a prison; what exactly does safety concerns being cited by nurses mean; are any of the state prisons on a list to be closed, downsized or expanded; are these positions ever filled 100 percent of the time….what’s the cost benefit analysis?

During a time when everybody else is expected to pay their bills to the state, yet maintain their personal responsibility, it’s in the state’s best interest to look at all options to save Pennsylvania from further decay. The SEIU was informed of this decision months ago, that the state was considering re-bidding the medical contract for the state-prison system. One can only wonder what type of information might be handed out today, and why two Republicans towing the union line.  Call them, ask:

Sen. David Argall – (717) 787-2637
Rep. Mike Fleck – (814) 644-2996

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