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Layoffs Looming at Holyoke Geriatric Authority


HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Employees at the Holyoke geriatric Authority are facing the grim reality that they will lose their jobs once the city run nursing home closes.

Union and management met Thursday afternoon to discuss the layoff situation.

About 70 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1459 work at the Holyoke Geriatric Authority.

Those jobs include RN’s, LPN’s, CNA’s, housekeeping and laundry personnel.

As the closing of the geriatric authority looms , so do layoffs,”We’ve met with our membership, we’ve met with management, it was a joint venture to talk about layoffs , how it’s going to go and to let them know as long as there are patients they have jobs,” says Tyrone Housey, union representative.

But as patients begin to get transferred to other nursing homes in the area, the need for staff will diminish and the layoff process will begin.

Employees have dreaded this moment for a long time,”The attitude is fair, employees know the geriatric authority  is going to be closing, and they’ve been dealing with this for a long time, so they’re pretty sad but they’re aware of the reality,” says Housey.

The union says it will be meeting on a weekly basis with management to get updates figures on the census and how the layoff procedure should unfold.

One other development in the Holyoke Geriatric Authority story.

We’ve been receiving calls about the status of the adult day care program at the facility.

Officials tell us the adult day care program is not part of the closure process that was previously announced for the nursing home part of the facility.

Authorities say that the funding for the nursing home comes from the Department of Public Health while funding for the adult day care program comes from the Department of Education.

Also the adult day care program is making money while the nursing home is losing money.

Employees in the adult day care program are non-union unlike their counterparts in the nursing home.

Nevertheless employees and those in the day care program are concerned about the future.

The city’s position is that it wants out of the nursing home business, and that if the day care program continued for example, it might be operated through a private entity.

There are certainly a lot of unanswered questions about its future down the road.

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