FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 2, 2015
Contact: Chris Dauphin
Phone: (615) 256-4533, 800-251-8732
TSEA: Third party should study privatization
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Employees Association today is calling for a halt to privatization efforts in Tennessee until a third party reviews all contracts to verify cost savings.
Last month, the Haslam administration issued a Request for Information which involves outsourcing the facilities management for every state building not already contracted through Jones Lang LaSalle. This would include National Guard facilities, prisons, hospitals, higher education buildings, and any other building run by the state.
“Once again the Haslam administration wants to sell off state services to a private company, which will result in job losses for state employees,” TSEA President Bryan Merritt said. “Before we lay off more workers and relinquish more taxpayer control, maybe we need a third party to study and prove these privatizing efforts are really saving money. We simply do not believe any company can provide the same level of services, with profit as a motive, and do it at a lesser cost than state employees.”
Since FY10-11, according to the Tennessee Fact Book, 3,311 state employee positions have been eliminated in Tennessee. During that same time period, Tennessee’s population has increased by approximately 200,000.
“It seems strange to me, Governor Haslam touts the amount of jobs the administration has created through attracting businesses to Tennessee; meanwhile thousands of state jobs have been eliminated under this administration,” Merritt said. “State employees are hardworking people who pay mortgages, buy cars, and send their kids to college. When state workers are laid off, their spendable income is also removed from Tennessee’s economy. Jones Lang LaSalle isn’t even a Tennessee company.”
While the Governor’s office has indicated no decisions have been made and that there is no timeline for this process, NewsChannel5 in Nashville last week reported a timeline for this effort that would have a contractor in place by August 1, 2016. According to that timeline, the information included in any potential proposals would not become public until after the legislature adjourns.