To provide the public with accurate information regarding the status and progress of the negotiations between the School District and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 32BJ (hereinafter referred to as “Union”), the Board is posting this Negotiations Update which summarizes the Board’s efforts to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union.
- Since January 2017, the Board has attempted to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining
Agreement with the District’s custodians, cafeteria employees, instructional assistants
and clerical employees all of which are represented by the Union. The parties have held
multiple negotiation sessions with little progress to date.
- Cafeteria Services: The District employs approximately nineteen (19) cafeteria
employees. The current operation of the cafeteria services costs the District tens of
thousands of dollars each year. In April, the District advertised for competitive bids to
subcontract the operation of the cafeteria services. If the District move forward with
subcontracting its cafeteria services, the District’s employees will have an opportunity to
apply for positions with the successful bidder. Based upon the cafeteria bids received by
the District, the District could save approximately $185,000 per year by subcontracting
the operation of its cafeteria services. Over a 3-year contract, the District would save
almost $600,000. Despite this significant cost savings, the Board decided to wait another
year before subcontracting the cafeteria services so that it could continue to negotiate in
good faith with the Union. If a new CBA is not reached within the next six (6) months,
the District will once again seek bids for the operation of the cafeteria services.
- Custodial Services: The District employs approximately eighteen (18) custodial
employees. This number does not include the District’s maintenance employees. In
September, the District received competitive bids to subcontract the District’s custodial
services. If the District move forward with subcontracting its custodial services, these
employees will have an opportunity to apply for positions with the successful bidder.
Based upon the bids received by the District, the District would save approximately
$500,000 per year by subcontracting its custodial services. Over a 3-year contract, the
District would save approximately $1,500,000.
- If the Board accepted the cafeteria and custodial services bids for the start of the 2018-
2019 school year, the District would save approximately $700,000 per year. To put this
figure in perspective, in the 2017-2018 budget, the Board approved the purchase of
approximately 450 Chromebook computers for the students at the High School. This
One-to-One Program would provide each student with their own Chromebook computer.
The total cost of the Chromebooks was less than $117,000. In addition, the District
purchased $328,000 worth of new textbooks. However, the cost of these new textbooks
needed to be paid over three (3) school years because of the District’s financial condition.
Also, the District needed to increase taxes and borrow money to pay for approximately
$600,000 of repairs at Lincoln High School and Hartman Elementary School. Finally,
the District is spending $64,000 this year for STEM labs at the High School. Each of
these expenses could have been funded and potentially expanded with the money saved
by subcontracting just the cafeteria and custodial services.
- If the Union does not begin to negotiate in good faith and work with the Board to address
the unsustainable costs of the cafeteria and custodial services under the expired
Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Board will have no choice but to move forward
with the subcontracting both the cafeteria and custodial services.
- It is important to note that the Board does not intend to seek bids for the instructional
assistant and clerical employees.
- When negotiations resume, the Board will continue to negotiate with the Union to reach
a financially responsible Collective Bargaining Agreement that meets the educational
and operational needs of the District.