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Sep 20, 2015 9:57 AM

Nashua school board votes to replace union custodians with private company


NASHUA - The city's board of education has decided to hire a private company for custodial work starting in next July, a move expected to put more than 100 unionized custodians will be out of work.

"There will be 101 custodians affected by this change, many of whom have worked for us for many years," school board President George Farrington told the Telegraph of Nashua. "We certainly understand and regret the impact this change will have on their lives."

Farrington said the board's decision was a response to more limited funding due the citywide spending cap, which is expected to be around 1.3 percent next year.

"We don't choose this course lightly, but we believe it is in the best interest of our students as well as the fiscally responsible thing to do for the taxpayers of Nashua," Farrington said in a statement on the vote.

The Nashua School Custodian Union's chief steward, Jason Guerette, called the decision "devastating, even to people who are not losing their jobs."

The district is midway through a contract with the union, and the 101 positions will remain through June 30, 2016. The school board will issue a request for proposals from outside cleaning companies to assume custodial duties as of July 1, 2016

"We are at a point where reducing a little here and there isn't going to be enough to make the budget work as we go forward. It is time for fundamental changes in the methods and means by which we conduct certain school district operations," Farrington said.


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