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Signs from an earlier protest against Nashua's plan to privatize custodial services

Mar 20, 2016 12:47 PM

Labor complaint from custodians affects Nashua's plans to privatize, save money

NH1.com

NASHUA - Plans to privatize the custodial work at city schools will be delayed because of a pending labor complaint that's also affecting the school district's budget plans.

The school board voted last September to end the collective bargaining agreement with its 101 custodians and expected to save money by contracting with a private company starting this summer.

According to The Telegraph of Nashua, the school board had received bids that suggest it could save more than half a million dollars, possibly several million, by making the change.

But the union filed an unfair labor complaint with the Public Employee Labor Relations Board back in December, and that has put efforts to contract with a private company on hold.

Given the complaint, school board member Robert Hallowell said the board will likely submit the education budget to the city before a decision on privatization can be made.

"I think it's unlikely that we will get a decision in time to affect the 2017 education budget," he said, adding he did not want to count on any savings from privatization prior to the labor decision.

If the Labor Board finds in favor of the school district, the budget cycle for 2018 may see savings from privatization, he said.

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