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Redbank Valley School Considering Outsourcing Custodial, Food Service Operations

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

redbank-schoolNEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – The Redbank Valley School District is investigating the possibility of contracting or outsourcing custodial and food service operations.

Superintendent Mike Drzewiecki told exploreClarion.com, “At present, all the district is doing is determining whether there is a compelling financial reason for considering outsourcing, which, of course, requires that it reach out to potential service providers for proposals.”

“The District has made no decision with respect to contracting/outsourcing these operations.”

Drzewiecki was asked for comments after a news release on November 8 from PSEA UniServ stating that members of the Redbank Valley Educations Support Professionals were disappointed to learn that the school board has plans to outsource the custodial and cafeteria staff in 2018.

“This action will cost nearly 35 members of the community to lose their jobs and be replaced by outsiders,” stated the news release. “The current employees, many of whom have graduated from RVSD and currently have children that attend the RVSD. They have a vested interest in the success of the RV School District and the community, unlike their outsourced replacements.”

Drzewiecki outlined the process that is taking place by the school board members.

“The cost savings committee presented the proposal at the June Board work session with updates on proceeding occurring the past couple months,” said Drzewiecki. “A request for proposal for custodial services has been developed and advertised. The same for food service providers are being developed and will be complete in the coming months. At present, all the district is doing is determining whether there is a compelling financial reason for considering outsourcing which, of course, requires that it reach out to potential service providers for proposals.”

Outsourcing these types of services usually provides cost savings to a business because the new employees could be paid less and benefits curtailed or eliminated.

The PSEA release claimed there is no “financial” need to outsource the jobs and “there is no need to bring a constant stream of outsiders, into our schools.”

Documents provided by the School District claimed:

  • Redbank Valley has a Fund Balance/Surplus of nearly $8,000,000.00.
  • The Fund Balance/Surplus is nine times larger than the state recommendation.
  • Since 2010, the overall budget has decreased by nearly $800,000.00.
  • Since 2010, the millage rate has decreased.
  • From 2009-16, the total revenues have been $3,500,000.00 more than the budget projected.

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