Flint schools outsourcing plan advances to last stage of approval

The plan would also privatize custodial services.

A Flint Community Schools plan to save $5.9 million dollars annually by outsourcing bussing, janitorial and landscaping work is advancing to the final stage of approval before the school board, but it has some members of the community crying foul.

The plan is expected to result in the layoffs of 132 custodial workers and a large number of bus drivers.

There are also 9 landscaping workers who's jobs would be eliminated.

Similar plans have been discussed in the past only to be nixed by a last minute union deal.

They will have until the next meeting of the school board on April 18th to work a deal this time. If not school district spokesperson Bob Campbell says the arrangement could go into place as soon as July 1st.

The companies involved in the possible deal are Detroit-based American Building Maintenance, Cincinnati based First Student, a company that provides bussing for districts nationwide, and Burton-based Emerald Landscaping, the only local company in the mix.

All of the companies say they plan to interview current district employees for the jobs, but in the case of ABS the custodians will make only $9 per hour, as compared to the district's standard $16.

Some local residents are not happy with the possible outsourcing.

Flint resident Rich Blumerich says "they say that is is put down on paper that they will save money but are they actually going to save that amount overall if they get this and are they going to get the same results in the work from the people they are hiring to take the lower wages?"

Michelle Novak, a mom of a Flint elementary school student is concerned about a possible influx of new and unfamiliar bus drivers. "I'd actually be very fearful of that it depends on background checks but yes."

Flint Community Schools spokesperson Bob Campbell told NBC25 over the phone that the private bus drivers and custodians would have the same background checks that school employees have including everything that is required by the state of Michigan.