Sep 28, 2015 11:10 PM

Nashua unions protest vote to privatize custodial services

NASHUA- A huge turnout at Monday’s Board of Education Meeting in Nashua, as many are upset there was no public forum before the board of education voted to end it’s contract with the custodian’s union to pursue a private cleaning service.

A large group of teachers and Nashua parents showed their support for the 101 custodians who are set to lose their jobs next summer, this as the board of education voted earlier this month to seek a private cleaning company to try and stay within the spending cap.

“Our custodians are the heartbeat of our school and to do this to the hard working men and women of this city I think it outrageous,” said Moira Conley, a teacher in the district.

Many speaking out, saying they feel the BOE is treating the custodians as numbers, not people.

“These are human beings, look at these people, they are people,” said one parent.

“We don’t view you people at numbers, we understand, this is not an easy decision for us,” said Board President George Farrington.

Farrington outlined surveys from other districts who have privatized their cleaning, many offering favorable reviews and cost savings.

But the union points out an example closer to home, issues seen recently in Chelmsford.

“There was a crew of 18 down there, there’s been four that have been arrested that’s 22 percent of the workforce,” said Jim Durkin spokesperson for AFSCME Council 93.

Many questioned why there was no public input before a vote. The BOE says legally, it had to start the process before notifying the union.

The board’s vote was 7-1. It’s still unclear what the savings could look like.

“We know that if we ignore this opportunity and wait until budget time there will be few if any other options available besides cuts,” Farrington said.


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