Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Jobs on the line for Somerville janitors

June 23, 2010
SOMERVILLE, MA — Somerville''s 49-member custodial staff, set to have its jobs outsourced in the fiscal year 2011 budget, is safe. But maybe not, according to the Boston Globe.
"The mayor has agreed to drop the privatization [drive]," said Rick Rogers of the Greater Boston Labor Council at a public budget hearing Tuesday night as the standing-room-only crowd burst into cheers.
However, it''s too early for supporters to celebrate: Mayor Joe Curtatone said afterward in an interview that while the city would be talking with the union today, it had not withdrawn the proposal to outsource custodial services, the article stated.
According to the article, the drama went down at a rally outside City Hall, where several hundred supporters of the custodians and the Somerville Municipal Employees Union held signs reading "Shame on the All-American City."
The mayor''s budget proposal lays off eight SMEA employees and eliminates an additional 10 jobs through attrition, the article noted.
The custodians'' fate will come down to cash: After 10 months of bargaining, the union''s previous best proposal saved money — just over $2 million over three years — but $1,328,242 less than the city would save by outsourcing the service to AM-PM Cleaning Corporation, a Waltham-based union shop, Curtatone said.
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