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  • Stop Privatization of Hillsborough County Public School Services

    Privatization of public school services:
    No real savings, plenty of disruption and a bad deal for Hillsborough County

    A Request For Proposals (RFP) to turn over custodial services in Hillsborough County Public Schools was generated March 8, 2019 and the bidding period ended May 14, 2019. Currently no proposal has been brought to the School Board to vote on and School district leaders say the purpose of this move would be to save money, yet the costs associated with this shift will actually cost the school district more money.

    Privatization attempts don’t usually end up saving money. In our own school district & 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.

    We know by examples already set in Hillsborough County Schools that a private company can & will take its profits outside of the county and state, resulting in a net loss for the local economy. Right now HCPS has contracted services with a company based outside of the United States! Those who work in our schools now will see less in salary due to cuts in hours & positions, reducing their spending power locally, while a private company that wins the contract for the same services may send its profits outside of the county.

    Another example that would present in the short term, would be the amount of money spent to buy out employees who choose to leave the district, which could easily wipe out whatever savings a private provider promises the school district. An even more expensive long term hidden cost would be the contractual requirement of transferring current employees to new positions within the district. This will be a cost we will explore and expose fully as proposals come in.

    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.

    Will the school district monitor the terms of the contract? In the current contract HCPS has with Kelly Staffing Services, the company cannot provide the number of workers needed to fill positions and has proven to not provide the quality of in house service promised as seen in numerous media reports. It will cost the district time and money to closely monitor the contract to make sure any company awarded a privatization contract upholds its end of the bargain. 

    Once a department is privatized, there is no turning back! When any department in our school district 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 the district realizes the true costs. 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.

    This idea is bad for our public schools and the children we serve, it’s bad for our local economy, it’s bad for our loyal school employees and it will end up costing more money than it saves.

    So, why are HCPS leaders even exploring this idea?


    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

    Jul 22, 2019
    A TALE OF TWO HCPS BUDGET REPORTS: At the July 16, 2019 School Board meeting Member Steve Cona reported FALSE information produced by HCPS CFO Gretchen Saunders to the public focused squarely on Custodial Operations. Read more about what HSEF discovered!
    Download: Expenditure Analytics - 5 years all funds - custodial 07-08-2019 FALSE.pdf , Expend Analytics General Fund - custodial 07-17-2019 CORRECTED.pdf , ORANGE COUNTY CUSTODIAL EXPENDITURES.pdf , Spanish SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT.pdf

    May 10, 2019
    The leaders of our Hillsborough School Employees Federation are the employees who work for Hillsborough County Public Schools! Having a personal desire to privatize the jobs of a group of concerned public school employees, does not justify the accusations School Board Member Steve Cona made on May 7, 2019. Custodians, teachers, other support staff and our community have the right to exercise their freedom of speech and have done nothing more than express their justified concerns in a professional manner.
    Download: In response español to Steve Cona.pdf

    May 10, 2019
    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!
    Apr 28, 2019
    If privatization was such a good idea, then why didn't Gibson Consulting recommend it? Did the Superintendent keep his word about centralizing two years ago? WHY ARE HCPS LEADERS ALLOWING THE BIDDING FOR YOUR JOBS TO CONTINUE?
    Apr 20, 2019
    District administrators are now saying exactly what they said June 20, 2017... Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Chris Farkas, sent a letter today to HCPS Custodial Staff letting them know no decisions have been made and the district is RESTATING what was said in the summer of 2017.
    Download: A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS Espanol.pdf

    Apr 18, 2019
    First and foremost the basis for our serious concerns surrounding the Request for Proposals (RFP) that has been generated for Custodial Operations all starts with HCPS policy. The policy manual has clear general provisions for RFP definitions and the practicality of the RFP.
    Download: BACKGROUND Espanol.pdf

    Mar 29, 2019
    A growing body of evidence and industry wage data presented in the studies suggests an alarming trend: outsourcing public services sets off a downward spiral in which reduced worker wages and benefits can hurt the local economy and overall stability of middle and working class communities.

    Mar 22, 2019
    Get the real answers to your questions about outsourcing custodians in our school district... What about your job? Why now? Hillsborough County Public School leaders have their answers, but while they are asking private companies, eager for multi millions in profits, HSEF has the TRUTH here!
    Download: Subcontrstacion - Preguntas y Respuestas.pdf , HSEF Subcontracting Custodial Services Q &A.pdf

    Mar 15, 2019
    What is happening? What does subcontracting custodial services mean? READ NOW the real FACT SHEET on Subcontracting Custodial Services in Hillsborough County Public Schools!
    Download: hoja de datos español.pdf , HSEF custodial Fact Sheet.pdf

    Mar 30, 2019
    Special thanks to Sean Shaw & Pastor Tom Jones for hosting our HSEF VP Stephanie MacNeel on the Vanguards of Democracy radio show. We can not express enough our deep thanks for the opportunity to share with our community & for the support we have gotten and continue to recieve for our Custodians & all our HSEF members. SEE YOU ALL AT THE RALLY FOR HCPS CUSTODIANS APRIL 2!
    Apr 20, 2019
    Understand the Truth of Privatization  Hillsborough County School District custodial staff were informed Friday March 8, 2019 that their jobs could be taken over by a private company in the coming months.
    Apr 20, 2019
      HCPS Request For Proposals for Custodial Services  Phase I of Gibson Report (See Pgs. 12-16)  Phase II of Gibson Report (See Pgs.

    Page Last Updated: Oct 24, 2019 (13:23:00)
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