Lincoln Consolidated Schools delays decision on outsourcing custodial work
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.