Negotiations Stall Between Custodians, Rockford School District

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

After members in the Rockford Building Maintenance Association voted to make concessions this Saturday, the two sides went back to the table today, attempting to find common ground.

On Tuesday, the Rockford School Board will vote whether to keep the custodians, or outsource the jobs.

Rockford superintendent Dennis Thompson recommended the school board vote yes to hire SBM maintenance contractors, which he says would save the district $3.5 million.

On Saturday, 190 custodians voted for two million dollars in concessions of wages and insurance benefits.

Wednesday, the RBMA presented their package district negotiators, where talks stalled after 45 minutes..

Custodian negotiators say the district didn't come prepared to bargain.

"very frustrating, I mean, we are on a time crunch here. Next Tuesday is when they are going to vote and we are trying to take care of this right now and you sit across people that are unprepared. It's very frustrating," custodial negotiator Jeff Phelen said.

Custodial negotiators say they'll provide their numbers to Rockford board members Thursday to look over before next week's vote.

Both negotiating teams are scheduled to meet again this Monday to crunch the numbers of their respective plans.

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