Skip to comments.School District Turns Down $270K Savings ... Because of Union
Posted on 02/08/2012 12:21:30 PM PST by MichCapCon
Portage Public Schools had an odd reaction to some good financial news this week, telling a company that could save it $270,000 a year "no thanks." That offer came from Grand Rapids Building Services, a facilities cleaning contractor that proposed taking over the school districts first shift custodial duties.
GRBS is able to accomplish the same work at a lower cost primarily because it uses a different benefits package than Portage schools, one that doesnt include overpriced health insurance from the Michigan Education Special Services Association or expensive contributions to the unsustainable school employee pension plan. GRBS more reasonable benefits packages mean it can provide the same service to the district for about $20,000 less per custodian, according to The Kalamazoo Gazette.
Portages refusal of GRBSs offer is especially odd because it already contracts with the company to provide its second- and third-shift custodians, and has since 2009. In fact, the board appears content with that service as the proposal came at the same meeting where they renewed their contract for those second- and third-shift custodial services.
The reason the school board is turning down the offer appears to be one completely unrelated to fiscal prudence or concern for quality services. School Board President Bo Snyder told The Gazette the district walked away from the $270,000 savings because prior boards have elected not to use the outsource model for the first-shift custodians in the buildings.
In other words, the current board wont make a sound financial decision because previous boards didnt make a sound financial decision.
That kind of financial strategy is one reason why school districts always feel like theyre in a budget crunch, despite the fact per-pupil spending has risen steadily over the last 40 years. Districts like Portage need to remember their primary goal is not to perpetuate the status quo; they should be more focused on funding learning than funding insurance companies.
how much more can Atlas shrug?
This is one of the scams I really didn't know about until the Wisconsin mess last year. These unions buy their own insurance from a common provider, tack on a little profit for themselves and require, through their contract, that the government buy insurance from the union. I'm sure this is a large portion of their funding and one of the things they won't negotiate on. It would kill them to let that scam go.
And so these particular Michigan taxpayers get kicked in their metaphorical nuts again because the school boards do not represent them. They only care about the unions.
Wow, now this is a new one. The people who make decisions like this are supposed to teach math?
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