April 25, 2012 - Every day we greet many of the students upon arrival to school, assist them with jammed lockers, and direct them to where they need to go.
We are friends to many and mentors to others, making them feel safe and more at ease while away from home. It is a known fact "private" companies have a high turnover of employees, because of low wages and no benefits.
So how can you expect them to truly care about our schools, and the students/children of this community? It's also a proven fact that theft becomes a major issue with these companies. Also, in response to the dollar figures you mentioned in your article, I wish I could clean toilets for a $100,000 a year. We make less than half that much.
To inform you and the readers of this paper, part of my work load today consisted of crawling under some pipes on my belly to clean out a backed up floor drain trap, (came out smelling and looking pretty bad) also, I was on the roof fixing exhaust fans.
The custodians of Lake Orion do plumbing, electrical work, heating and cooling, tile repair and/or replacement, snow removal and salting of sidewalks and entrances. We also weed around the buildings and court yards, and clean up and disinfect after a student gets sick in a class room or hallway. This is above and beyond maintaining the cleanliness of our schools.
The schools rarely have to rely on outside companies for repairs or maintenance. Almost everything is done in house by the teams the district hired to maintain our schools.
We have taken classes and obtained advanced training to be able to perform these tasks. Yes, we make a little more an hour then the private cleaning companies , however, they do not do any maintenance or repairs, unless they charge more monies (above and beyond their original quote for cleaning).
Privatization has been tried by other school districts in the past, who have since brought back their own staff, because of all of the hidden fees and the degradation of the schools. Sadly, Rochester just gave away 201 full time Michigan jobs and Oxford did the same recently. All these people are now without health care, or an income to care for their families.
Unfortunately they are one accident or hardship away from losing everything they have worked so hard to obtain. "Come on People" how do you think this is saving us tax payers money? That's what it all boils down to. When all these folks are on unemployment and collecting state aid or welfare for their families, aren't we the ones picking up the tab?
Do you think your taxes are going to decrease, because the board saved pennies in comparison?
"I think not".
In the long run, we will all end up paying more one way or another and it will be forgotten who initiated this whole thing! So much for "loyalty and brotherhood".
This is a Sad Time in America.
Pamela M. Welch
Hard Working Head Custodian