Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fact Sheet on the Impact of Privatization of Custodial Jobs in USD 259

The following fact sheet has been put together by the Service Employees Union (SEIU) Local 513, and is supported by Interfaith Worker Justice, Kansas.

Privatizing Wichita Public Schools custodial services will have an adverse effect on Wichita's middle class and communities of color, increasing income inequality and further stressing already beleaguered communities.

Privatization of custodial services will disproportionately effect predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods.

More than one-half of Wichita Public School custodians are African-American or Hispanic--so privatizing custodial positions will disproportionately affect communities of color.*

Wichita communities of color are already severely economically stressed. A recent article in The Wichita Eagle noted that 42 percent of the people living in zip code 67214 are below the poverty line.**

Privatizing these jobs will degrade the middle class and create poverty level jobs.

The current starting pay for Wichita public school custodians is over $12 an hour--contrast this starting wage with the average starting pay for all custodians (which includes the private sector) in the Wichita MSA of $10 an hour.***

In addition to pay, Wichita school custodians receive paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement benefits.

Private custodial companies offer savings by cutting wages and benefits. It is not unusual for a company to cut wages by $2 to $6 an hour with the highest paid (longest term) employees losing the most. Custodians will pay more for health insurance. Private companies rarely offer retirement benefits or pay for time off. Frequently, such companies cut employee hours of work.****

* Wichita Public Schools, EEO-5, Job Analysis, 06/10/2014
** Wichita has one of the sharpest divides between rich and poor, according to study," The Wichita Eagle, 2.25.2016.
*** US Bureau of Labor Statistics
**** "Outsourcing Public Service Rewards Corporations and Punishes the Middle Class," In The Public Interest, June 2014.

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