Don’t Privatize Willow Point!

Cutting Worker’s Pay and Benefits to Increase Profits

The sure way of making money today on the privatization of the Willow Point Nursing Home is to cut the pay and benefits of those people employed to care for the sick and elderly. This is not what people want for their family members.

If Broome County sells the nursing home to a developer and signs a contract for services, once again the developers would risk nothing and gain all.

The Myth of Private Efficiency

For many years the powerful capitalist in this country have been peddling the idea that private industry is more efficient that publically owned industry. One need only look at current events to know that this private efficiency is an outright lie. Trillions in taxpayer dollars have bailed out the private banks, Wall St firms, the Savings and Loan Industry, the U.S. auto companies and on and on. Billions have been lost/unaccounted for by the private firms providing “services” to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military hardware providers are often caught overcharging for the materials they produce or bribing officials. American pharmaceutical companies have made billions misrepresenting the value of drugs. To these companies profit comes first.

At the local level we can see the folly in pouring millions into EIT for job creation, only to see the company outsource jobs to China while laying off local workers.

 

Don’t Privatize Willow Point

by Sonya Collins

Regarding the privatization of Willow Point, I feel it would be a huge mistake.  I am a nurse who visits many of the nursing homes in the area for my work, and I am very impressed with the care the patients receive at Willow Point.  On the dementia unit where there is a mixture of patients who need different levels of care the staff are present, attentive, and talking to patients who need a friendly ear.

Earlier in my career I worked in a nursing home that was privately run and the care was poor by comparison to what I see today at Willow Point.

I was a Head Nurse on a 60 bed skilled nursing unit (very medically needy). Each aide had 10 patients to bathe and care for. If someone called in sick, they often would not have the minimum number of staff necessary, therefore the patient to staff ratio would increase from 10 patients per aide to 12 patients per aide.

There were two LPN’s who basically administered medication all day. As the Head Nurse I did treatments. Both medication and treatment on a skilled nursing unit is time consuming so, if a patient just wanted to talk to you, there was just no time.

During my time there I became very depressed when I realized the job was literally insurmountable. The patients were going through life altering events (e.g. moving out of their home, losing their home, losing their independence, losing their mates, separated from their pets) and they needed someone to listen to them and I found there was just no time for that. I lasted 10 months.

When I think of the private nursing home I worked at, I would not put my dog there, let alone my mother. The staff was so poorly paid and the work so intense, staff would burn out and even quit and leave with no notice.

In nursing school, one of the instructors encouraged us think about the care we were giving to patients. We were told to care for each and every one “as if it was your mother.” Well if I had to place my mother in a nursing home I would not hesitate to place her at Willow Point as it is today.

For Broome County to sell Willow Point to a private company that has as its’ most important goal, a profit, is a disservice to our citizens. The profit can only come from cutting patient care and cutting staff pay and benefits. Let your legislator and County Executive know your feelings about this issue.

 

 

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