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News ::
Quality could suffer for residents if Ridgewood Court abandons its food services
24 Jul 2002
Employees and residents oppose management attempt to subcontract dietary services -- part of trend in nursing homes
Attleboro - Workers at the Ridgewood Court Nursing Home strongly oppose a plan by the home's management to subcontract its dietary services to an outside vendor, Healthcare Services Group Inc., (HSG) from Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

"I'm concerned about the impact on the quality of food and dietary services for our residents," said Bess Woodward, a 24-year employee from Norton who currently works in the kitchen. "Under this new plan, HSG won't allow the personalized services for residents that we have always provided and it will pay below a living wage without affordable health care."

Ridgewood Court attempted a similar subcontracting plan in 1993 that failed because residents complained about poor service and food quality. Employees have told management that they are again taking a strong stand to stop the new subcontracting plan. Members are planning a rally at the home to show their unity and build community support for maintaining the existing kitchen services.

Most of the home's employees are members of SEIU Local 285. However, HSG has already taken over the housekeeping and laundry services at Ridgewood Court, slashing workers' wages and health care benefits.

Ridgewood Court is owned by Beverly Enterprises Inc., a national for-profit nursing home operator based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Beverly owns 466 nursing homes and 29 assisted living centers in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Beverly owns 19 homes in Massachusetts.

SEIU Local 285 is a statewide union of health care workers and public service employees with more than 12,000 members. Workers at 30 nursing homes in Massachusetts belong to SEIU.

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