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Big Win Against School Outsourcing Tallied in New Jersey

by Kevin Hanes  |  October 03, 2013

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Jersey City School District had a plan to outsource the schools’ security guards. It was misguided and would jeopardize student safety. So AFSCME members got to work and they won.

Members of Local 2262 and Council 52 joined parents and community leaders to take their fight to the school board. They raised the community’s awareness about the shortfalls of the proposed for-profit outfit that would be responsible for protecting Jersey City’s children.

“Using research we conducted with our national union, we stood against outsourcing here in our schools – letting the school board know that the company they wanted to hire had a history of bad decision making” said Bill Murawski, AFSCME Local 2262 president. “We exposed countless infractions and safety concerns from their other clients.”

Realizing the effect a protracted, negative campaign would have on the company’s reputation and bottom line, they withdrew their proposal to take over the school district’s security. But, not before making one more very bad and very public decision.

“On Sept. 12, in the shadow of the new World Trade Center, the company went into one of our schools with an armed man to test existing security measures,” said Rich Gollin AFSCME Council 52’s executive director. “They did not alert anyone that they were coming in – including the police – and they caused undue concern for students, staff and parents. This was downright stupid. How does it ever make sense to send an armed man into a school with no notice?”

Attempts to outsource vital public services must be stopped; private companies value profit above quality.

Learn more about outsourcing at In the Public Interest, a resource group that works with AFSCME and governments on responsible contracting.

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