District Custodians Place Ad in Newspaper

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Rockford School Board member Alice Saudargas doesn't mind custodians making their final point in black and white.

"I thought it was good. They brought it to the public's attention," Saudargas says.

The ad points out RBMA's deeper pay cuts proposed last week and the union's importance in the schools and with students. While Saudargas says the information is accurate for the community, she believes RBMA played a political game that could prove too little, too late.

"That's why we postponed the vote for two weeks, to give the union an opportunity to come back with an offer that we felt we could accept, and they couldn't do that," Saudargas says.

Saudargas and fellow board member Jay Nellis, who voted yes to outsource, are also concerned about possible legal ramifications. If the board reverses their vote to begin negotiations with SBM, will the district have to pay? Both also point out that the company's signed contract is missing key information: most importantly, exactly how much the outside company will actually save the district.

"Where are these employees coming from and what is their hourly wage going to be? I mean none of that is spelled out in the contract," Saudargas says.

Saudargas and Nellis will ask for more SBM contract details before they make their decision on Tuesday. Meanwhile, district custodians say their informed decision is in the newspaper, for the community and the board to read.

"We are going to continue fighting, and we are going to continue checking on things. We'll see how they feel Sunday," RBMA Vice-President Kelly Hribal adds.

A small newspaper advertisement, which custodians hope will make a big impact on the School Board, days before their pivotal RBM outsourcing vote.


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