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Auditor’s Report on Grand Rapids Vets Home Shows Privatization Doesn’t Work, Hurts Vets

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today on the Auditor General’s report on the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

“The tragic lesson from this failed experiment is that privatization simply doesn’t work,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Rep. Holly Hughes said this report is ‘disturbing,’ and she’s right. But if Rep. Hughes wants to find someone to blame, she should look in the mirror. It is now painfully clear that the 2011 budget passed by Lansing Republicans, which included the privatization of the Home for Veterans, was a terrible mistake.

“According to the auditor’s report, the facility was chronically understaffed, employees routinely failed to respond to alarm checks, and the for-profit management company failed to investigate complaints of abuse and neglect. That’s outrageous and unacceptable.

“No one should have to endure such horrible living conditions, especially not our military veterans. The state needs to stop shortchanging these brave men and women, and take immediate action by terminating its contract with J2S, which has proven to be totally inadequate and incompetent. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”

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