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'More Than Just Custodians' in Alexandria? - Source Connection news papers

Posted on Feb 06,2019
Filed Under News , Community,

Public school custodians gave public testimony and held up "Don't privatize our jobs!" signs at last week's School Board meeting.

Source Connection news papers

By Dan Brendel-Gazette Packet

Public school custodians voiced opposition to the privatization of their jobs, as proposed in the division superintendent’s operating budget, at the School Board’s meeting last Thursday, Jan. 24.

Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutching’s proposed FY 2020 operating budget would outsource 44 custodial jobs worth about $1.2 million to private contracting firms.

Custodians say the move will burden their families, and also that the schools will lose the qualitative value of in-house workers.

Jamar Hines told the School Board on Thursday: “I’m a 13-year employee with Alexandria City Public Schools. … It affects me. I have two boys that are asthmatic. … I have an 11th grader preparing for college and everything. … By going to privatizing these schools, … it’s hard as a parent, … a child can feel when their parent is struggling, that child is going to struggle. So I just want you all to understand, we’re more than just custodians. We are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters first. And we treat those children in those schools as our own. You might not get that with privatizing.”

Ernest Ward said: “I’ve been an employee for ACPS for 15 years as a custodian …. I was living in North Carolina, but the job I had didn’t have any kind of good benefits. … I came here as a part-timer, I worked, I was dedicated to the job, and my principal and my supervisor recommended me for a full-time position at ACPS. … I have a health condition, so if you cut my job, I lose my benefits, and I couldn’t afford to buy medication over the counter. … We have families to provide for, and if we lose our jobs there’s not guarantee that we could … be employed by another school system, or any other job.”

Source Connection news papers

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