Cost saving steps for the district that could mean a serious life change for employees.
The Rockford Building Maintenance Association has been trying to negotiate a new contract with the district for months. But the process has been slow going and on Friday they learned that their jobs are jeopardy. The custodians picketed out in the pouring rain Monday to promote the care and concern they say they provide their school verses complete strangers. The district has already received 11 bids to subcontract this work. Some proposals save the district millions of dollars and even bring in 20% – 30% more staff for a reduced cost. There is the possibility that even if the jobs are outsourced the current custodians could be hired back but not at the same salary.
Superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson says, “I apologize to the families but I have to look at what is best for the district. I’m obligated to find ways to save.”
RMBA President Jeff Phalen says, “There’s a difference between quality and quantity. They are hoping to get our employees but for half the price. Many people have families and with no insurance that is hard for the workers.”
The savings would be seen in the district's facilities budget which is seeing a deficit of $5.4 million dollars. Dr. Thompson will bring the subcontracting proposals to the board November 9th. The top three choices will make a presentation to the board 2 weeks later.