Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Race plays role in custodian's promotion

April 16, 2010
BROCKTON, MA — A black custodian with Brockton High School recently filed a grievance because a white custodian with less seniority was selected for a promotion, according to the Brockton Enterprise.
According to the story, Guy Jones, the black custodian, was eventually given the senior daytime custodian position, but only after formally complaining about it for three months.
It remains unclear who initially made or approved the appointment of the white custodian, but all hirings must be confirmed by Brockton Public Schools Superintendent Matthew Malone, the story stated.
Ward 5 School Committee member Bill Carpenter said: "At a time when members of the community are questioning the diversity of the staff at the Brockton public schools, it''s a concern that a [black] individual apparently was passed over for an important promotion in violation of the union contract. I don''t understand why it took three months and a grievance to finally rectify the situation. It is very troubling to me, and I have expressed my concerns to the superintendent."
Many feel that the union ideal of promoting employees based on seniority is unfair to those who perform their jobs at higher levels and prove their worth by earning a job advancement, the story noted.
The incident has grown legs, so to speak, as negotiations between school officials have heated up about making the Brockton High School teaching staff, which is made up of only 12 percent minorities, more diverse, the story added.
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