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Local News

Plainfield D-202 to hold hearing on outsourcing custodial services

District, union at odds over proposal

PLAINFIELD – The Plainfield School District 202 board has scheduled a public hearing Monday on a proposal to outsource custodial services that has drawn criticism in past months from the Plainfield Association of Support Staff.

The hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. at the district administration center, 15732 Howard St., Plainfield. The board is not expected to vote on the proposal at the meeting, District 202 Spokesman Tom Hernandez wrote in an email Friday.

The district received bids from GCA Services Group, ABM and Aramark for custodial services that could reduce costs between $908,000 to $9.9 million during the next three years, depending on the number of positions deployed, pay rates and benefits, district officials have said.

A three-year total cost analysis of six base bids presented to the public at an April 11 board meeting from the companies showed GCA Services Group mostly having the lowest cost, with the exception of base bid No. 3 from ABM. Aramark showed to have the highest cost. PASS, the district’s support staff union, has criticized the proposal and rallied against the proposal.

“After I got over the shock, the big thing was the disappointment I felt from administration and the board; that you could not stand with us and keep us employed with [District 202] and just throw it away for a few pieces of silver,” PASS President John Piechocinski said at the April 11 meeting. 

District officials have said they were exploring outsourcing custodial services to “more effectively manage its finances in light of the state’s unpredictable and inadequate” education funding.

In light of apparent distrust between the board, administration and unions, board member Rod Westfall urged at the April 11 meeting for everyone to work together. He said the district has faced financial difficulties because of the state.

“The problem is not with this group [and] not with PASS. The problem is down in Springfield,” Westfall said. 

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