NEW HAVEN, CT — The New Haven Public Schools board of education has approved the layoff of 15 full-time, unionized custodial workers, according to the New Haven Independent.
The decision was part of a planned downsizing as the city shifted towards privatizing a portion of the workers who clean city schools, the article stated.
According to the article, the custodians, many of whom had worked for the district for more than 10 years, saw the layoffs coming when they were demoted to "temporary floaters."
The job cuts came as a result of an arbitration decision handed down to the city after custodians in American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 4 Local 287 rejected a labor contract their union leaders had crafted with the city, the article noted.
Workers are now claiming that their union and city went "behind their backs" to bypass seniority and allow management to get rid of higher-paid workers, undercutting the civil service process by which workers were originally hired, the article added.
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