Troy goes private, Rochester does not

ROCHESTER, Mich. - Rochester Community Schools will retain in-house custodial and transportation programs, while the Troy school district will hire an outside firm for busing, according to media reports in each district.

In Rochester, the school board has accepted a three-year contract with 200 custodial, grounds, maintenance and transportation employees that could save the district up to $2.2 million in the next year, the Detroit Free Press reported. The agreement includes pay cuts ranging from 5.5 to 25.5 percent and provides an HMO insurance plan.

Troy school board members voted to accept a bid for transportation services from First Student, a Scotland-based firm that already works in several other Michigan districts, according to C&G News. The district anticipates saving $2.5 million over three years.

 The 77 members of the school’s transportation department will be offered jobs with the new company at the same wage and will be offered health insurance, according to Tim McAvoy, the district communication manager, C&G News reported.

Harry Sahourieh, president of the Troy Educational Support Personnel Association, said that the union had offered 10 percent pay cuts and a two-tier wage and benefit system. The groups will continue to negotiate over other support services.

Detroit Free Press, “Rochester school board accepts contract,” April 21, 2009

C&G News, “Troy school board out sources bus services,” April 22, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Privatization numbers up again,” Aug. 19, 2008