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Local News

Plainfield District 202 support staff union to rally against potential outsourcing

PLAINFIELD – A Plainfield School District 202 support staff union plans to rally against potential outsourcing. 

From February to May, the Plainfield Association of Support Staff plans to rally and pack District 202 board meetings to fight outsourcing, according to a flier sent Wednesday by Ann Bachman-McIntosh, Illinois Education Association UniServ director. 

The first rally will take place at 5:45 p.m. Monday at the district administrative center before a board meeting. 

“[The custodians] live in the community, their children go to these schools. Many of them have worked for the school district for a number of years. ... It came as a complete surprise,” said Bachman-McIntosh. “We are rallying to let the school board know this is not acceptable.”

District 202 officials announced Feb. 12 that they were considering outsourcing custodial services to more effectively manage finances “in light of the state’s unpredictable and inadequate public education funding.”

District 202 officials have stated they tentatively plan to solicit bids for custodial services on or about March 8, and the board would publicly review and consider bids at its April 11 meeting. 

The PASS flier stated that outsourcing reduces local control, the savings from it will not be realized, and the current system guarantees that all safety records, background checks, incident reports, parental concerns and employee personnel records are maintained by the administration and school board.

Tom Hernandez, District 202 spokesman, stated via email that many points in the flier are subject to negotiations or may be addressed in the planned bid speculatives. Nothing has been publicly discussed or decided, he stated.

“The board is simply researching an option that may save District 202 taxpayers a significant amount of money. Therefore, most of these points are simple conjecture, at best,” he stated. 

In response to safety concerns raised by PASS, Hernandez stated that all employees – including those who may work for private vendors – who are in regular, direct contact with students must undergo a criminal background check by law.

“As we said in our initial release, District 202 has been contracting its food service and transportation services for more than 20 years. All of those employees are subject to this condition of employment, and so will be anyone who may be hired through a private custodial service,” he stated.

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