It wasn’t an easy decision last week by a majority of Hamtramck School Boardmembers to contract out the jobs of custodians.
These district employees live here in Hamtramck. They are our friends and neighbors and they contribute to the local economy. While they are being offered to apply for their jobs through a private company that is taking over the service, we all know it will be for a fraction of their wages.
Besides privatizing the custodians’ jobs, the board also contracted out the jobs of security officers and bus drivers.
Up next, the school board will be presented with a plan for outsourcing the jobs of secretaries.
It makes you wonder: Is anyone’s job safe?
The answer, sadly, is no. All jobs are on the line because the district must find a way to wipe out a $3.7 million budget deficit. It has forced the board to take drastic measures.
The board’s decisions have also caused some bad blood. These are livelihoods we are talking about.
The root of the district’s financial problem, and that of many other districts in the state, can be attributed to one person: Gov. Rick Snyder, who slashed per-pupil funding by about $400 a head as soon as he took office.
No district can expect to rebound from that. Snyder and his Republican cronies are setting up our schools for financial failure.
We hesitate to stray far from local issues, but when it comes to losing local jobs, that is personal. We can’t help but think the real motivation here is to smash apart the teachers’ union, which has long been a foe of Republicans.
Instead of in-fighting, we need to stand up to this strategy. It’s amazing that no one is storming the capital in Lansing and demanding their jobs back. Instead, we won’t be surprised if voters continue to vote against their own best interests.