Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 5, 2012

Jail medical unit going 'private' this month

Niagara Gazette — The transition to private medical care for inmates of Niagara County Jail should be completed by mid-month.

Armor Correctional Health Services, a Miami-based medical services company, is set to take over the jail medical unit Dec. 16, Sheriff James Voutour said this week.

That means Dec. 15 is the last day of work for seven county employees who work as registered and licensed practical nurses at the jail.

Some, but not all, of those nurses will stay on as employees of ACHS. According to Voutour, the company hired three of the seven after interviews with nurses who applied. To complete its staff roster, Armor passed over some present county employees and hired from the outside.

All laid-off nurses are being offered a severance package that includes 3 1/2 months of county-paid health insurance, and 100 percent buyback of unspent vacation, personal and sick days, human resources Director Peter Lopes said.

The standard severance package for laid-off county employees includes health coverage for two months after the month in which they're terminated. After consultation with Voutour and a representative of the nurses' union, CSEA, Lopes said the county agreed to offer the nurses an extra month of paid health coverage.

They hope the offer discourages nurses from quitting — and potentially leaving the jail medical unit understaffed — before Armor takes over.

"It's everybody's hope, through careful planning, that the transition will go smoothly," Lopes said.

The US&J recently fielded a complaint from a nurse who didn't get hired by Armor, charging the county's process for handing off jail medical work was not fair or transparent.

The nurse, who declined to give her name, claimed top officials at the jail did not keep the nursing staff apprised of privatization talks — they learned from the media that their jobs were being cut, she said; and also claimed officials falsely promised nurses that ACHS would hire all of them.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results