Custodian Outsourcing Talks Continue
Information submitted by four custodial services companies to be evaluated by committee.
While an NJEA campaign that includes purple "Stangers? Not in my schools!" lawn signs is under way to protest the Madison school district considering outsourcing custodial services, Board of Education members and adminstrators continue to review information submitted by four custodial services companies as a possible way to increase custodial staff within the confines of the school budget, officials said at Tuesday's school board meeting.
A committee of board members and administrators plans to narrow down the field of four companies to two or three after evaluating the submissions when the committee meets after spring break, business administrator Gary Lane said.
District officials then would call school districts where the finalist companies worked and arrange in-person interviews with the people who would serve as on-site managers if the company were to be selected.
The Board of Education is continuing discussions with members of the union that represents the 19 custodians who work for Madison schools, and no decisions have been made, officials said.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi has said the scenarios currently being looked at involve keeping six of the existing custodians. He said the Madison Facilities Staff Association has made what the district would normally consider excellent offers under normal bargaining circumstances, but the district still needs to weigh the union's offers against proposals from companies.
Joseph Cecala, head custodian at Torey J. Sabatini school and president of the association, which is a member of the NJEA, has said they would continue the discussions.
The union distributed fliers with a picture of the staff members, saying no one can match their commitment to safety, quality and service.
"We care about your kids and have been a mainstay in their lives," the flier says. "Why should the Board entrust your child to anyone else?"
District officials said the district's custodians are understaffed after recent budget cuts, and outsourcing would allow the district to have about 10 more people maintaining the schools, including a plumber, electrician and HVAC specialist.