School board votes to outsource MCS custodians - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

School board votes to outsource MCS custodians

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – The Shelby County school board took hours Thursday night to decide to outsource current MCS custodians.  The decision came amid passionate debate.

"Are we going to outsource or are we not?" asked commissioner Kevin Woods.

"I'm here tonight to ask you to vote against outsourcing jobs," said one custodian.

Despite pleas from employees like her, the board voted 15 to 5 to hire a private company to clean what are currently Memphis city schools.  They will now be in line with what the county already does.  The plan will save an estimated $11.5 million when the districts merge.

"You've got to make some decisions," said interim MCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson.  "If you don't cut here you've got to cut somewhere else," he added.

"We put the policy in place, let's follow it," said commissioner David Reaves.

But several commissioners were fundamentally opposed to predicted two to three dollar pay cuts.  That's even if custodians are re-hired.

"For one major reason, just compassion," said commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

Commissioner Sara Lewis stormed out of the meeting after telling the board she was told outsourcing was a done deal during a conversation with a district official in, of all places, a Las Vegas casino.

"Y'all know who I'm talking about," said Lewis.  "And I'm going to find my lawyer and I'm going to deal with this," she added.

Lewis never revealed who she was talking about.

While the board decided to outsource, it has yet to decide which private custodial company to hire.  New bids will be in next week.

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