A week and a half ago the Assembly Budget Committee approved two bills that would make it far more difficult for school districts to enter into private subcontracting agreements for busing, custodial or cafeteria services. (See my take here.) Yesterday Assembly Democrats introduced a similar bill, A-2974/S-1191, that would require some school districts to participate in county-wide contracts, even if it’s cheaper to subcontract the work privately.
The bill would apply to Middlesex, Camden, Gloucester, Union and Passaic counties. It’s sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Annette Quijano and Thomas Giblin,
According to the Assembly press release, school districts that currently employ unionized in-district employees for these services and decide to privatize to save money would be required to participate in the county-run contract.
A district in these circumstances will not be permitted to participate in the county-wide contract during the term of an existing collective bargaining agreement with employees who will be affected by the participation in the county-wide contract, and after the term of the agreement, the district may participate only after:
• Providing written notice to the majority representative of employees in each collective bargaining unit affected by participation in the county-wide contract and to the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission; and
• Offering the majority representative the opportunity to consult with the district to discuss the decision to participate in the county-wide contract and the opportunity to engage in negotiations over the impact of participation.
Each employee replaced or displaced as a result of the district’s participation in the county-wide contract would retain all previously acquired seniority and would have recall rights whenever the district’s participation in the county-wide contract terminates.
Yeah, yeah, it’s an election year. But this proposed bill runs contrary to all efforts to find efficiencies that don’t have an impact on student learning, and would force districts to privilege adults over children. That’s a flawed message, election year or not.