The Case Against Firing Our Custodians and the Evils of Privatization sign now

"I am in favor of the board finding alternative measures to firing our districts' custodians, including the possibility of including a second ballot question to cover their economic cost."

The Case Against Firing Our Custodians And the Evils of Privatization

The Bridgewater Raritan Board has announced their plans to seek bids to fire our 84 custodians and bring in a private contractor and outsource the work.

This is an ill-conceived plan, full of dangerous pitfalls and the elusive dream of millions in savings.

Basically, the board has decided to rip at the fabric of our community and trade the safety, security, and cleanliness of our schools for money.

Here are the basic arguments against this move:

1) Many employees of these companies are hired before background checks are completed. A loophole in the law allows them to work 30 days without the check. Most times, they are rotated out of one district at 29 days and the clock resets somewhere else. Just who do we have in our buildings with our children?

2) Our custodians are trained in right to know and possess boiler licenses, while many outside companies provide no such training. You get what you pay for

3) Bid specifications many times purposefully omit cleaning criteria in order to get a low bid and maximize savings. The result here is filthy buildings or a price increase in later years to pick up the areas originally left off the original specs.

4) Turnover rate for private companies is very high due to failed background checks and employment conditions. Again, a major safety issue.

5) Theft has been seen to increase at districts where outsourcing has occurred both from the employees and management (see Bernards Township).

6) Due to staff shortages, many buildings are left unattended and not cleaned.

7) Industry standards applied by these companies contradict many state guidelines for square footage per custodian leading to an unreasonable workload that leaves buildings poorly cleaned.

8) In inclement weather, many companies will add cost to their services versus our work currently being done in house and locally.

9) Our current custodial staff has proven their dedication and loyalty to the district. Many of them live in our community and are members of the Lions, Rotary Club, Cub Scout Leaders, First Aid Squad Members, taxpayers, etc. Can we turn our backs on them?

10) Other communities have turned back the tide and supported their custodians (see articles below)

Can we afford to gamble with the safety of our children and the health of our buildings?

Sign our petition, call or e-mail a board member, attend a meeting and speak out!

Click on one of the links to read further about the perils of firing our custodians and some stories of success in turning back the tide

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http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/aramark-c15487.html Example of a complaint against Aramark

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100202/NEWS/100202018/UPDATE--4-suspects-in-Bernards-school-district-theft-have-first-court-appearance - Bernards Township ripped off by Aramark

http://www.northjersey.com/news/86306132_Residents_come_out_against_outsourcing_of_jobs.html - Saddle Brook turns back the outsourcing of their custodians.

http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2009/11/parents_teachers_protest_plan.html
Alexandria parents and teachers fight outsourcing plan.

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Jayne MarquezBy:
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Petition target:
Bridgewater-Raritan School Board

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