Clarenceville privatizes custodial services

LIVONIA, Mich. — Facing a projected budget deficit of $852,000 in 2010-2011, the Clarenceville School District Board of Education voted recently to outsource custodial services and save an estimated $1.2 million over three years, according to the (Livonia) Observer.

The 4-3 decision has led to a potential recall and an unfair labor practice charge, the Observer reported. Ten custodians will be laid off as of July 31, the report said.

D.M. Burr of Flint won the contract as the lowest of nine bidders, according to the Observer. Assistant Superintendent David Bergeron said the district now is preparing to take bids on outsourcing transportation services, while also preparing for negotiations with the union that represents the district's transportation, food service and maintenance staff, the Observer reported.

The spouse of one custodian told the Observer he plans a recall campaign, while a Michigan Education Association employee said the union has filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the board did not allow current custodians to bid on providing services.

Board Secretary Mark Garrison told the Observer that he voted in favor of privatization in order to keep money in the classrooms. He told the Observer that there are people in the district who support the decision.

"Some people have said 'Why did it take this long?' ... I understand both sides," Garrison told the Observer.

(Livonia) Observer, "Picketers protest privatization," July 18, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Privatization Survey 2009," Dec. 7, 2009