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Health and Hospitals Corporation attempts to set record straight over "BCL" story

6/3/2011, 10:23 p.m.

In this week's AmNews, we reported that on May 10, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (HHC) Finance Committee had voted to recommend that its board of directors award a contract to Consortium (a joint venture of Sodexo Laundry Services , Inc. and Nexera, Inc.) to operate Brooklyn Central Laundry (BCL). Late last week, the Board of Directors officially approved the contract.

But that's not all, a spokesperson for the HHC contacted the AmNews and addressed what they felt wereerrors in the story. Here were some of their other issues:

  • On Thursday, May 26, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Board of Directors voted 9-2 to contract with the Consortium, a joint venture of Sodexo Laundry Services, Inc. and Nexera, Inc., to meet HHC's laundry needs for a term of nine years, at a savings to HHC of $72 million. HHC now moves forward to close the Brooklyn Central Laundry operation and transfer laundry services for HHC hospitals and health centers to the vendor by August. 1, 2011.
  • In the second paragraph of your (AmNews) story, the city did not spend $1 million in the last year to upgrade BCL facilities. Can you please explain what upgrades you are talking about?
  • Also in the second graf, the contract would not eliminate 83 jobs. HHC has offered to retrain and redeploy the 83 plant employees affected by the closing and place them into housekeeping jobs throughout HHC hospitals with slightly higher salaries. This redeployment offer, conveyed to the union in late January, is contingent on HHC's ability to accomplish the closing of the plant and the transition to the new vendor by August 1.
  • In the third to the last graf of the story, the correct number of New Yorkers served by HHC every year is 1.3 million, not 450,000. More than 450,000 of the people we serve are uninsured. Patients will not be affected by the outsourcing of laundry services. In fact, 35% of laundry operations have been outsourced for more than 10 years at considerable savings and no operational problems. Most other hospitals in the city outsource their laundry operations.

The figure of $1 million in facility upgrades was obtained from District Council 37 (DC37), the largest public employee union in New York City, and Municipal Hospital Employees Union Local 420, which represents workers at the HHC.