ALGONAC, Mich. - The Algonac Community School District may privatize its custodial and bus services, but is giving current employees a chance to make a counter proposal first, according to The Voice.

The district could save $150,000 to $200,000 per year in retirement and benefit costs by hiring private firms to do the work, Superintendent Michael Sharrow told The Voice.

Union representatives for the district's custodians could not be reached for comment, The Voice reported. The district's contract with bus drivers expires in August, and with custodians in 2011.

Sharrow said that if the employees can generate cost savings, the district will consider retaining them rather than outsourcing those operations, The Voice reported.

Shirley Farley, a bus driver for the district, said the issue came as a surprise.

"We had no clue," Farley told The Voice. "Every time you turn around, we are the ones that get hit."

The Voice, "Algonac schools considers privatization for bus drivers, custodians," June 30, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A School Privatization Primer," June 26, 2007

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan School Databases, "Agreement between the Board of Education of the Algonac Community School District and Algonac Bus Drivers, 2007-2008- 2008-2009"