9OYS Education Watch
Outsourcing is out: TUSD won't replace workers with contractors to balance budget
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When your boss's budget gets tight it's time to clutch your wallet a little tighter. That's the feeling TUSD workers have as the district works to close a five million dollar budget gap for the coming school year.
Blue collar workers from AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees worried the district may hire more private contractors and out source them out of their jobs. They made that clear to board members.
AFSCME member and TUSD parent Mike Wisnieski referred to posters on the board room walls as he said, "I look around and I see all these beautiful children on the walls. Then I look to my left and I see a blue collar worker, a teacher, another blue collar worker and another blue collar worker. I hope that's taken into account when you make a decision tonight because a blue collar worker is as important as anybody and 75 percent of the photos of your staff is the blue collar worker.
Local AFSCME President Alan Lee told the board: "And I also do not prescribe to the philosophy of contracting out to the lowest bid. We can always find somebody to do Doctor Pedicone's job for 150 thousand dollars less. We can find someone to do a bus drivers job without benefits. We can find some one to do the finance directors job. I guarantee you."
In the end the board voted not to explore outsourcing. But TUSD will meet with employee groups to explore ideas to close that budget gap.