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Posted on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 4 p.m.

Lincoln Consolidated Schools delays decision on outsourcing custodial work

By Tom Perkins

Lincoln Consolidated Schools has delayed action on a proposal that would outsource the district’s custodial work.

Superintendent Lynn Cleary said the custodians' union has requested a meeting with her, and she expects some kind of action to be taken on the issue at the Aug. 23 board meeting.

The proposal would outsource custodial work, but not maintenance duties, at an estimated savings of $636,000.

Currently, the district has about $1.7 million budgeted for custodians. Salaries account for $1.08 million, health care and benefits costs make up $627,000 and supplies and insurance costs cost another $65,000.

The district is considering contracting with Holland-based Enviro-Clean for $1.14 million. That figure includes a one-time unemployment contribution of $244,000, which would boost savings in subsequent years.

The district has 24 custodians, many of whom showed up at Monday night's board meeting to oppose the change. The custodians argued they cannot live off the $9.00-9.50 per hour starting pay Enviro-Clean offers. Custodians also said there was no guarantee of being be rehired by Enviro-Clean.

“This is a bad idea,” Laurie Price, president of the Lincoln Education Associates Organizations union, said. “These people can hire whoever they want. It’s the company that makes that decision, not the district.”

Like many area districts, Lincoln is facing a budget crunch. The district's transportation workers recently accepted a 7 percent pay cut to avoid outsourcing.


Captain Magnificent

Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 3:47 p.m.

I understand outsourcing with call centers and computer programmers, but how in the world are a bunch of people in India going to do custodial work from 1000 miles away? That makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. I think the reporter needs to do some more research before posting these "articles"- he was obviously the victim of a cruel joke here. Shame on Lyn Cleary for taking advantage of such a gullible young man.


Thu, Aug 12, 2010 : 7:20 p.m.

This is a "no brainer", quit wasting time and get it done. The custodians argue that "they cannot live off the 9 to 9.50 starting pay". Guess you should have thought about that before you picked this as a career. Here's a thought, get a second job like many others have done. Do notice that their current healthcare and pension costs are around 35% of their total compensation. Way out of line with the private sector.

Jeff Gaynor

Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 8:39 a.m.

Why have public schools at all? Let them eat cake! This just costs the taxpayers - and who benefits? People should be grateful to have any job at all, rather than complaining about $9-9.50 an hour to support a family. What - they want MORE? How ungrateful of them. So you know, when I went into teaching I said I would be content to make $20,000 a year - which was far beyond - more than twice, on average - what I made for the first 7.5 years of my teaching career. (I remember people then saying, "what a shame" but not doing anything about it, until teachers stood up for themselves. Now we're making a decent salary, but taking cuts, which I voted for, as I understand the economic situation. What bothers me is that the lowest paid staff, quite dedicated as most all are, are being hit the hardest now. Of course, they are the least powerful, so absorb the hit. Why do we, as a society, support this? I'm glad to see that Ypsi is reconsidering privatization, but I hope it's not just a tactic that will force the workers to take an inequitable pay cut.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 6:32 p.m.

How much would they save if they could outsource Teachers and Administration?