The piece below appeared in the Northwest Herald on June 7th. The difference between the two bids below is about 50,000 dollars. In a small district like Harvard 50,000 dollars goes a long way. There has been much in the news lately of new spending (primarily staff related) in District 50 but there has yet to be news about the purchase of new textbooks. Old textbooks were part of the plea for a yes vote when promoting the referenda in past elections. The primary interests of the District 50 board should first be the students and taxpayers. Have the children been thrown under the bus to please the employees once again. Kudos for the concessions but perhaps they did not go far enough. Northwest Herald.
D-50 decides against accepting bid to outsource jobs
Publication Northwest Herald
Date June 07, 2006
By JENN WIANT
HARVARD - The custodial, maintenance and grounds workers of Harvard School District 50 no longer face a July 1 job-loss date.
The school board has voted not to accept a bid to outsource them.
The 18 district employees affected were notified in April that their employment with the district would end in June. That decision was reversed June 1.
The school board decided that the annual savings to be achieved by outsourcing the work would not be worth it after the union agreed to concessions.
The lowest bid to outsource the custodial and maintenance jobs came in at $725,820. The district plans to spend $774,283 on the services in 2006-07, Clow said.
"The dollar difference was not enough there to outsource, unlike the food service, which just came in at a tremendous savings," board member Diana Bird said this week.
The board voted to outsource the district's food service at a meeting May 22, saying the move would save the district about $390,000 over the next three years.
About 20 former food-service employees will have the chance to interview with the district's new food service provider, Arbor Management Inc., but they will not be guaranteed jobs, District Spokesman Bill Clow said.
He added that the union representing the custodial and maintenance workers agreed to take concessions so that workers could keep their jobs.
"Impact bargaining was able to close that gap sufficiently to make it worthwhile for the board to agree not to outsource," Clow said.
Lower costs negotiated with the local union, the Harvard Education Support Association, have not been calculated but will go into effect after the 2006-07 school year, Clow said.
The board signed a three-year contract with HESA on June 1 after two months of negotiations.
HESA Vice President Lee Peters, who is head custodian at Central School, said he was angry when he received the initial letter stating that he no longer would be employed with the district as of July 1.
To view the rest of the story go to the Northwest Herald.