Custodians among first round of cuts
PARCHMENT, MI — While the custodial staff picketed outside, the Parchment School District Board of Education explained the revenue loss that would lead to their jobs being privatized, according to The Kalamazoo Gazette.
Bette Whitacker, 65 and a custodian with the district for 25 years, explained that the staff knew there were no concessions they could make that would best the deal janitorial company D.M. Burr had on the table, the article stated.
"We were willing to make concessions, but administrators said there was no way, we would be working for free," said Whitacker, who is the president of the local Michigan Education Association''s (MEA) custodial, maintenance, monitors and transportation union branch.
According to the article, during a public comment period, residents expressed their fear that contracting janitors who are paid lower wages than in-house staff will lead to poor work ethic, could make the schools less safe and would hurt the community.
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