Bronx and city public school custodians in jeopardy of losing their jobs

Public school custodians may never get a new contract if the Schools Chancellor has his way. The custodians have not had a contract since 1999.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is looking to replace custodians in Bronx and city public schools with workers from private companies. But union members say hiring private companies will jeopardize student safety. They say there will be no control over who comes in and out of the schools, and who works around the kids.

The United Federation of Teachers filed a resolution in December supporting the custodians, saying schools are cleaner than ever. UFT members say the idea that the city would save money by contracting out is wrong.

According to the city's charter, before the city can privatize it must allow employees to prove they can do a more cost effective job. Union members say they have conducted a cost benefit analysis and found that the custodians are doing the job for a cheaper price.

The City Council's Contract Committee will hold a public hearing on the matter at City Hall on March 31.

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