Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is contracting out "un-Catholic?"

St. Thomas carried this story today regarding the decision of the London District Catholic School Board to contract out custodial services at St. Joseph's High School located in the city. The board already contracts out custodial at several of its London high schools and elementary schools, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees protested those decisions as they did this one.
CUPE was the only group to speak at the board's budget public input meeting, in opposition to the plan to contract out four jobs. The union calls the move un-Catholic, un-Christian, saying its member employees do a better job, care more and implying they're better Catholics as a result.
"All I can say is, in all honesty, there aren't any jobs lost here and I think that's important," said (Elgin trustee Bill) Hall after the meeting.
All four current St. Joe's custodial employees will still have jobs within the board and will be reassigned to other schools.
When asked to comment after the decision was made, Moira Bell, CUPE Local 4186 president said she was too upset to speak with the Times-Journal.
Hall told the Times-Journal it all came down to numbers and helping eradicate the $2.8 million deficit.
"Definitely, for the trustees, those who could vote, it's a money issue," he said.
Contracting out the four positions will save the board a minimum of $50,000 annually, said Tim Holmes, superintendent of business and treasurer, previously to the Times-Journal.
This year's feedback was tame-- I can remember the last contracting out, where CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan came to speak to the board and told them in person (as a good Catholic himself) how un-Catholic they really were.
This one doesn't get me-- if the board's contracted out schools really were sloppier, messier, more uncared for than its union-tended schools, I would imagine its trustees and staff would hear about this over and over. They don't, as far as I know.


Anonymous said...

So I guess the unionized CUPE custodial staff at Palmerston public school in Toronto are more "catholic"?

It's a mess with mouse droppings and garbage. Non-union mothers are going into the school to scrub down the bathrooms. Go figure

Education Reporter said...

Is that really a union issue? Or is it simply not spending enough on custodial?