Employees of the Wayne County Nursing Home in Lyons are up in arms after pleading to the County's Board of Supervisors to save their jobs. During a meeting Tuesday night, the board decided to outsource their jobs to a private company.
"Am I surprised? No. No I'm not. I just feel bad. I hope we can keep our county facility," said Jane Beach, employee.
It was a decision that came down to a close vote between Wayne County board supervisors.
"It's really heartbreaking," said Karen Tirado. "I spent more than half of my life working at the nursing home.
Tirado is just four years from retiring from her position in housekeeping at the Wayne County Nursing Home. She's worked there more than 30 years.
"I am 58-years-old and I have to start all over," she said.
Her department is one of three, including maintenance and food services, that will be contracted by the private company, Sodexo Senior Living, starting July 1. The decision means 74 employees will have to reapply for their jobs with no guarantee they will be re-hired.
"We will lose everything that we have right now," said Virginia Majewicz, employee.
According to the Local 859 Union president, their positions will also pay $3 an hour less than the average $14 an hour they currently make. Employees say they will also lose county benefits and will not likely be offered another benefits package.
"I understand the employees perspective, but I also understand every year when we do a budget, I understand the taxpayers perspective too," said Jim Marquette, County Administrator.
According to Marquette, the decision will save taxpayers money. Right now, the county pays $1.5 million to help operate the home, which they say isn't bringing in enough revenue. Marquette says the move will save $888,000.
"A lot of our staff are single parents. They can't afford lower wages, they can't afford daycare, so where are they going to go?" asked Beach. "We are going to end up paying more in taxes."
The county has also passed a resolution recently authorizing a proposal for the nursing home to be marketed for sale.
Thursday, the CSEA union reps will be meeting with employees impacted to discuss their options.