Protesters march against Pine Haven privatization
May 15, 2014 6:54 am
Joe Gentile is reporting in the Register Star nearly 100 demonstrators marched in opposition to privatization of the Pine Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, Wed., May 14. Protesters waved signs, chanted and solicited honks from passing vehicles outside the county office building in Hudson before half of them silently filed into the Board of Supervisors chambers for the board's monthly meeting. Shawn Morse, a United Public Service Employees Union labor relations representative, spoke to the full board, explaining that Pine Haven is very important, if not the "nucleus" of Columbia County. He said the 120-bed facility takes in the sickest of the sick and the poorest of the poor, while providing decent jobs for the middle class. Morse asked the supervisors to include those fully invested in Pine Haven in the process of deciding the facility's fate. Morse said, “We’re not going to go away. We’ll be here at every meeting. We’ll demonstrate not for any other reason other than to show you we care about Pine Haven, we care about the seniors, we care about the workers, and we want to be a part of this process.” If the full board ultimately chooses to sell the facility, Board of Supervisors Chairman Pat Grattan said preference will be given to buyers with the best plan to retain as many current employees as possible, deliver high-quality care and to keep Pine Haven in Philmont. Read the full story in the Register Star.