Nampa School District may outsource janitorial, food service staff

Nampa School District may outsource janitorial, food service staff

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 8:48 PM

NAMPA -- In an effort to cut costs, the Nampa School District is looking at contracting out janitorial staff and food service staff. This could leave current janitorial and food service staff out of a job.

Right now, food service staff and janitors are employees of the school district. If the district contracts these services out, then they will hire an outside company to provide those services to the district.

Spokesperson Allison Westfall said this is an idea the district got from public feedback. In December, she said, they decided to look into outsourcing janitorial and food service.

"Honestly, I felt kind of betrayed by the school district because I have been a dedicated employee to them, many of us have," said custodial team leader, Shane Harrell. "There are team leaders and custodians in the district that have been there as long as 27 to 30 years."

Harrell works at Skyview High School and has been with the district for 13 years. Until recently, he has had only good things to say about the district.

"I've always felt they've looked out for their employees; we've always been a big team and a big family," said Harrell.

Now he is worried about what contracting out janitorial services will do to him and other employees.

Harrell said the district hopes the company they would contract out with would hire some of the current janitorial staff, but he said that's not a guarantee. He is also worried about what would happen to his health benefits, retirement, sick days, and vacation, things he's earned over years working for the district.

Harrell said janitorial and food service staff takes ownership of the district and the schools where they work. He said they regularly interact with the students.

"In the lunchroom, we see them, we jokes around with them, we build a relationship with the kids," Harrell said.

Some teachers agree with Harrell.

"In my book, you may not be a certified teacher but every employee of this district helps to educate our kids, and they are wonderful educators," said Mandy Simpson, a math teacher at Columbia High and President of the Nampa Education Association.

Harrell knows it's ultimately a decision the school board will make, but he hopes they'll keep the staff in mind.

"We're a part of Nampa School District and I don't want them to just take that for granted and just throw us away," said Harrell.

This will be discussed at a special board meeting Tuesday, April 16 at the Nampa High School Little Theater at 7 p.m.

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