Dec 13, 2012 9:46 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The State Civil Service Commission has signed off on a plan to lay off about 350 workers at Southeast Louisiana Hospital. The move clears the way for a private Florida firm to take over services at the Mandeville facility.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/W0gDMw ) the board approved the privatization plan Wednesday with a rare split vote after hospital employees and advocates begged commission members to reject the proposal to protect the jobs of those currently working there.
The approval clears the way for Meridian Behavioral Health Services of Ft. Lauderdale to take over hospital services on Jan. 2.
That will also be the day the hospital's employees are let go, though Department of Health and Hospitals officials said anyone laid off will get preferential treatment when interviewing for jobs with Meridian.