Unions dispute benefits of outsourcing in Detroit district

Feb. 8, 2011
Emergency financial manager says changes would save $75 million over 5 years

From The Detroit Free Press: A group of union officials representing many Detroit Public Schools employees is raising questions about the district's decision to outsource a number of services to a private company, saving the district $75 million over five years. The unions say they had previously proposed savings that would have saved the district $92 million. JANUARY 2011...from The Detroit Free Press: Union officials representing workers in the Detroit district expect to go to court over the district’s plan to privatize facilities operations. Robert Bobb, the school system’s emergency financial manager, says that the outsourcing will save $75 million over five years. It would mean that 699 district employees will have to seek jobs with companies taking over custodial, engineering, maintenance, repair and grounds services. Also at issue is that the $43.9 million, five-year contract is with Sodexo Inc., a company that Human Rights Watch and other groups have accused of human rights violations and union busting.

From The Detroit News: Detroit Public Schools' Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb says he will privatize positions in the district's physical plant operations, a move expected to save $75 million for the deficit-ridden district. Bobb says five minority-owned private firms from Detroit are picking up the positions, which include custodians, engineers, boiler operations and grounds crews. Unions are expected to challenge the move.

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