Sigh. Today the NJ Senate approved, by a vote of 22-15, Bill S 1191, which would bar school districts from subcontracting non-instructional services like busing, custodians, and cafeteria workers. Here’s NJSBA’s press release, which notes,
S-1191 would impose onerous, pro-union requirements such as extensive notice and comment periods, as well as transitional employment for affected employees, which appear intended to preclude school districts from privatizing food or custodial services altogether, regardless of whether such a decision makes sense from a managerial or fiscal standpoint.
See post below for more details, including NJEA’s vibrant support for a bill that helps adults and hurts kids by forcing cuts to instructional services.
NJSBA also mentions that on the Senate substantially changed the language in the original bill, which is still retained in the Assembly version (which gets voted on next). Here’s the description of the changes:
The new text in the Senate bill would allow county governments that have created a countywide purchasing agreement for custodial or food services to unilaterally force school boards to take part in the county program. NJSBA opposes the new provisions, as it would compromise local control by allowing counties to compel school district participation in a countywide agreement – even if the district has already subcontracted food or custodial services, and regardless of whether the district negotiated a better deal on its own.
Hey — maybe NJ isn’t so slavishly devoted to home rule after all, at least when it comes to protecting special interests.
(Correction: 1191 was passed on Monday, not Tuesday.)