Share this article

print logo

Authorization for Mount View layoffs anticipated

The Niagara County Legislature is expected to vote Tuesday to authorize the layoff of everyone who still works at Mount View Health Facility.

Only one dissenting vote, from Legislator Renae Kimble, D-Niagara Falls, was cast when the layoffs were approved by the Administration Committee last week.

County Manager Gregory D. Lewis will have the authority to trigger the layoffs anytime Mount View Administrator Robert E. Sobon and Director of Nursing Sally M. Smith feel they are warranted by the patient load.

The county-owned nursing home's closing is targeted for Dec. 28, and Lewis said last week he thinks the facility will be empty by then. As of late last week, Mount View, licensed for 172 patients, had only 24 residents.

About 160 employees still work at Mount View. Lewis' proposed 2008 budget eliminates 54 jobs that were already vacant when the budget went to the printers earlier this month.

"Layoffs will be in accord with the rules of seniority in the contracts," Lewis said, referring to union collective bargaining agreements.

About 130 of the 160 workers are members of Local 182, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Their contract says they have "bumping rights," which means an AFSCME member who loses a Mount View job may move into a position in another county department -- if the person has the seniority and the qualifications for the post.

In some instances, a person who has a full-time job at Mount View may find himself "bumping" into a part-time position elsewhere on the county payroll, Lewis said.

AFSCME President Edward McDonald has long asserted that the AFSCME contract requires all part-time members of the union anywhere in the county work force to be laid off before any full-timer can be pink-slipped. Lewis said, "The county would not acknowledge that."

He would acknowledge, however, that the county expects plenty of arguments. "I expect there will be disagreements with the unions," the manager said.

The 30 Civil Service Employees Association members at Mount View have no bumping rights and will lose their jobs, Lewis said.

"We are working hard at transitioning employees," Lewis said. "The marketplace is such that there are positions [in private-sector nursing homes] available."


There are no comments - be the first to comment