Possibility of privatizing school support employees causes impasse in negotiations

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

BESPA and Bay District Schools negotiators agreed to disagree on a contract Monday night. They declared an impasse, with more than 75 support employees decked out in red watching.

"The district wants to change language on 23.1 which is contracting out services for Bay District employees and we were not willing to go down that road," said Martina.

The district wants the language change to allow the flexibility to explore privatizing transportation, custodial and food service employees for the next school year.

"We want to look at companies coming and doing it and we don't know, they might not be able to do it any cheaper. We want to look and see because we're worried about what we're going to do next year," said Superintendent of Bay District Schools, Bill Husfelt.

During Tuesdays board meeting, Martina and Husfelt traded frustrations.

"Imagine at this time with our economy, what it feels like to those people who earn the least in the district to have to worry about having a job next year. It's terrifying," said Martina.

"Nobody's enjoying this. If you think this is a ploy to fire all employees. This is not what it's about. It's about survival right now," said Husfelt.

Over the past four years, the state has cut the district's funding $71 million dollars. And Husfelt says no one knows what to expect next year. Both sides will take their arguments to a mediator. If they don't accept the mediator's decision the school board will vote on the issue.

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  • by Barbara Location: Bay on Aug 24, 2011 at 11:23 AM
    School board members should cut their salaries and sports along with coaches should get cut. Those thing would save money and academics. Isn't that what education is?
  • by Mike Location: Pc on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:42 AM
    You voted for the GOP so this is what you get. They voted 100% to give Billionaires and Corporate Jet Owners BILLIONS in tax cuts while voting 100% to CUT BILLIONS in education,Public Schools, the elderly,the handicapped, and widows. I would ELIMINATE all FREE school bus transportation and make these parents who voted for the GOP drive their OWN kids to and from school everyday saving millions in transportation costs,fuel,maintenance,etc. It's not the school boards fault it's the VOTERS fault. Drive your own kids! It's going to get WORSE as long as you vote for BILLIONAIRE TAX CUTS!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:33 AM
    Okaloosa county has only half the Admin staff we have here and they rate better than our schools every year. But the board does not want to talk about that!!!
  • by Mike Location: Youngstown on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:30 AM
    I think it is simple if you want uniforms make the school board and school staff wear them too, want crappy food make the teachers and board members eat it too!!!! Some of these kids in my area the school food is what keeps them surviving. Want to cut some dollars out of the budget shut down that big administration building and cut office staff that can’t even do the grant paperwork!!!!!! These ppl the board wants to outsource their jobs are essential to the process and are hands on with our children every day. I am sure we can hire office staff cheaper than we are paying now and they are not hands on with our children. They don’t even know if the outsourcing will save money so why are wasting time, money and energy to explore this option!!!!!! Sounds like someone has a personal interest involved here……. Bad form Bill!!!!! Bad Form!!!!!
  • by Newt on Aug 24, 2011 at 04:53 AM
    Privatizing Does not work in most cases. Services will be cut or neglected in order to up the profit.Look back just a few years to our jail system, remember history???????????
  • by Confused Location: Bay County on Aug 24, 2011 at 03:17 AM
    Ms. Martina obviously forgot the old saying of "Killing Them With Kindness." Now when the superintendent researches the merits of contracting out services, his last memory of the support staff union in the unwillingness of Ms. Martina to work with him and his staff. There's another old saying about "biting the hand that feeds you", but that will be for another day.
  • by unknow Location: bay county school on Aug 23, 2011 at 07:15 PM
    It is sad that the people of bay county put all the school board members in office and now they want to cut our jobs out.well turn the shoe around lets cut your pay and take away your benefits.some of us have 20 plus years and dont want to lose our retirement and benefits.think what is best for the children we all work hard and are there for the children.what happen too all the lotto money?what about all the money spent on all the new kitchens?thats money that will down the drain.to all school board member please use your heads and do the right thing save our jobs and cut other places.cutting jobs will make thing worse for this county.stop and think what you decide will affect hundreds of people.jobs they wont have wont beable to pay their mortgages.car payments put food on the table.can you sleep at night with that over your head if so i feel sorry for you.bottom line do the right thing save our j o b s .
  • by Edward Location: PCB on Aug 23, 2011 at 06:23 PM
    Yes, lives are involved. But if our taxpayer's money can be spent to give us more for our money, then it should be looked at. If everyone is doing there job then they should have no worries. But if they are not doing their jobs then shame on them. It is better to send home people not doing their jobs than it is to send home teachers or cut programs that are needed. Bottom line is what is best for thr students? That is what the Board of Bay County should look at>
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