May 22, 2019
No Decisions Have Been Made
The Process May Only Have Been Delayed
As you all know HSEF has been working hard the past 2 months to protect our custodians jobs. Since the March 8th posting of the RFP to outsource custodial operations, the activism from our members and community, who have rallied in support of what is best for students and HCPS IS having a GREAT and POWERFUL impact!
The deadline for outside proposals has passed and HSEF leaders and staff remain focused and vigilant for any move to privatize. Although NO decision has been made to privatize, and at this point it may only have been delayed, this fight is by no means over! PLEASE continue to keep watch and communicate with our School Board members. Support for our custodians is vital as we know they are a part of our community and can do equally as well, if not better, than any outside contractor!
Although the current push for privatization is focused now on custodial operations, this is an action that should be taken seriously by all members no matter their position in the district. If this department is privatized we fully expect there will be future attempts on other district operations. Furthermore, once a department is privatized, there is no turning back! When any HCPS department that is dependent on a significant amount of equipment, such as custodial services, is outsourced, it becomes nearly impossible to bring back the services in-house at a later date when true costs are realized. The enormous capital costs associated with restocking equipment, tools, trucks, etc. and the cost to train new staff is typically impossible to fund and will never produce the quality service we have now. This fact is what contractors know will ensure long term contracts.
As we have previously informed our members, privatization attempts don't usually end up saving money. In our own school district and in examples across the country, providers make promises to lower costs and even save money in the short term, but the costs always rise, leading the private provider to ask for more money each contract renewal, or pull out of their commitment altogether if no more money is forthcoming.
If our current custodians continue their jobs with a for-profit contractor, they will most likely see lower wages and reduced benefits due to cost cutting tactics such as reducing working hours. This will increase the strains on their families and will lead to further costs down the road for other county agencies as some workers will seek unemployment benefits and the loss of insurance may shift health costs to the county.
All of this, along with the understanding that a centralization model will be best for our employees is why HSEF is continuing to collaborate and meet regularly with district administration and School Board Members to move forward with a plan for centralization. We want the public and our members to know that despite any misrepresentation we have in fact had many positive meetings with district administrators and School Board members Steve Cona, Lynn Gray, Stacy Hahn, Karen Perez, Tamara Shamburger & Melissa Snively about our position and ideas to centralize. We will continue to keep communication open and will remain cautiously optimistic as we keep steady watch over this process.
We ask that you do the same and keep in touch with your School Board Members!
CONTACT THE SCHOOL BOARD OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY TODAY
Steve Cona (District 1) (813) 272-4052 Schools Represented
Stacy Hahn (District 2) (813) 272-4045 Schools Represented
Cindy Stuart (District 3) (813) 272-4052 Schools Represented
Melissa Snively VICE CHAIR (District 4) (813) 272-4618 Schools Represented
Tamara Shamburger CHAIR (District 5) (813) 272-4053 Schools Represented
Karen Perez (District 6) (813) 272-4045 District Wide Seat
Lynn Gray (District 7) (813) 272-4618 District Wide Seat