Adrian Schools may outsource to save money

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

ADRIAN, Mich (WTOL)- This is a battle more are becoming familiar with -- the fight to stay employed.

Here at the Adrian Public Schools, custodial and transportation employees, who represent the Union of Operating Engineers Local 547, wear their regalia on t-shirts and vans.

"We've been here for years. We've worked with you when no one else has. It's time to step up and let's work together," said Scott Benschoter, who is fighting for his job.

The district is looking to outsource their jobs to an independent contractor. Superintendent Sr. Christopher Timmis says it is facing a $1.7 million deficit next year because of the rising cost of retirement. "What we're looking at is that the state's going to give us zero dollars more than we have this year to fund education," he said.

It is a move that roughly half the state has made.

"It protects programs. It's protects our arts programs. It protects our athletic programs. It protects our music program. It protects us being able to buy textbooks," Timmis told News 11.

The superintendent says no decisions will be made until he receives bids from contractors. Meanwhile, union members plan to hold an informational picket at the March 23 school board meeting.