COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - No teacher layoffs will be necessary for the schools in the Muscogee County School District, and there will not be any furlough days for workers either.
While this is great news for the school district, about 80 custodian workers from middle and high schools were let go in the process. The board voted to outsource custodial services in order to assist the overall operations of the school district and school savings.
Valerie Fuller, Director of Communications for Muscogee County Schools, says this doesn't necessarily mean that the former custodians are out of work.
"Out of about 80 custodians that were outsourced, about 54 workers were hired from contractors that were awarded the bid to custodial services," says Fuller. "I am glad that some of those employees were re-hired by the contractors, and the proposal to outsource had been ongoing for about 5 years. It was a tough decision and choice to make, but we had to do it to save money."
The district will save about 4.8 million dollars by hiring contracted custodians.
Workers in elementary schools were not affected, and custodians from middle and high school had to experience the cut.
A former custodian who worked at one of the Muscogee County high schools for more than 15 years spoke to News Leader Nine about the termination and her life since losing her job. She wished to remain anonymous, and explained that she received her termination letter on June 24, 2013. The letter stated the custodian's termination date was June 27, 2013.
"The only reason I am concerned and frustrated is that the school district did not inform me earlier about my layoff," the former custodian explained. "I had little time to comprehend this whole situation. It also did not give me enough time to look for another job."
She explained that other custodial service workers who have worked at the school for more than 30 years had been let go as well.
"Some people who have worked for longer than I have were extremely upset," the custodian said.
She has been looking for a job since the day of her termination, and she was not re-hired by a contractor.
Valerie Fuller explained that if the custodians or any worker qualifies for the position, they are encouraged to look for jobs in school nutrition and transportation department. In addition, if more custodial jobs open up in elementary schools, then the custodians are allowed to apply for those positions.
"There might be a pool of people who might qualify for some jobs available in elementary schools, and the outsourced custodians might get the job," Fuller explained. "The school district is looking out for them, and we are trying."
The former custodian explained that she wants to work with the Muscogee County School District again. She enjoyed her years working in a high school, and she enjoyed working around students.
"I will keep calling and apply for any school district jobs that might be open," she explained. "I'll be calling. I want to work at a school again."