BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - Another county run nursing home in the region will see changes, and employees are bracing for what's on the way.
Centre Crest Nursing Home is losing 1.5 million dollars a year. The Centre County Board of Commissioners say they have three options: Close the home, sell it, or let it be managed by a non-profit organization. The last option is what they're planning to do. WTAJ News found out
why, and how that could impact workers.
Everyone we talked to says they don't expect anyone at Centre Crest to lose their jobs. The staff there knows the building and the tenants. But there are other things that could change with new management.
Tom Gibbs is the Council 83 Representative for AFSCME. He represents union employees at Centre Crest Nursing Home. He says the proposed transition to a non-profit has some workers on edge.
"The outlook of most of the employees is hopeful, even positive in some cases, but there is the fear of the unknown. It is a scary thing, as any change would be..."
Gibbs thinks the big changes for employees would be healthcare, which would depend on who the new company's carrier is. Pay, which he expects to stay the same or hopefully even go up as improvements are made. And retirement, which Gibbs thinks could pose a problem at the bargaining table.
"The retirement, as far as being able to enjoy a defined benefit program where you'll get a monthly pension check upon retirement, you'll more likely be defined contribution, like a 401K or something like that..."
Tim Boyde is the Centre County Administrator. He says it costs $220 a day to care for each resident here. Right now, they're being paid $160 in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and that figure hasn't changed since 2006.
Boyde says commissioners aren't considering closing or selling the home. But he says if they don't become a non-profit, they'll have to raise property taxes. That's the only change they plan.
"...The quality of care isn't going to change. The individuals providing that care isn't going to change..."
There will be several public meetings on the future of Centre Crest. The first is Wednesday, 2/27, at Mountaintop Elementary. Gibbs adds as of now, he doesn't know of any union members slated to speak, but he said that they're more than welcome to.
There are typically about 210 residents at Centre Crest. The Centre County Board of Commissioners expects the home to be up and running under new management by the end of 2013.