NAMPA -- Custodial jobs were on the chopping block at a special Nampa School District board meeting Tuesday night. Members of the board voted to 3-to-2 to contract out custodial staff.

It is just the latest effort to pull the district out of its $5 million budget deficit.

The district will also consider cutting up to 50 certified staff members.

At the meeting, janitors pleaded with members of the board to save their positions, but those with the Nampa School District say they spend over $3 million on custodial staff.

There are 83 custodians that help keep the Nampa schools clean, and janitors say it will hurt the local economy and their families.

I understand we need to take cuts, but I can't understand how contracting an out of state management company would be less expensive, said Diana Ward who is against the plan to contract out jobs.

However, those with the Nampa School District said this plan could help them level out their financial issues.

Also the move would save the district through indirect administrative costs, and reduced workers compensation claims.

There is a reason that most governmental agencies and private companies contract their custodial services. It's just simply more cost effective, said Paul Kersley who works in janitorial service.

However, some said those savings are not worth losing a vital part of the staff.

One Nampa custodian pointed out that the district would have to pay unemployment costs.

And I'm wondering if the district has given any consideration as to the direct financial impact it would have for the 74 employees you are considering eliminating their jobs, to file for unemployment benefits, said Custodian Greg Stevens.

The contracting company that also cleans for Micron, CGA has promised to hire back the custodians at comparable wages.

Another major concern by the custodians, besides the obvious impact to their families is also the benefits from a retirement plan for those long time employees; CGA says they will match it after a year.

Nampa schools also says over 90 percent of their custodians have been employed 10 years or less.

However, furloughs and pay cuts are still possible for current staff.

On May 7th, the board will take up a consideration to also contract nutrition services.

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