(en) Privatization fails in Edmonton public schools

Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Sun, 29 Jun 1997 14:09:09 pst

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 09:06:25 -0600 From: EW Plawiuk <ewplawiuk@mail.geocities.com> Subject: Privatization fails in Edmonton public schools To: a-infos-raw Reply-to: a-infos-work

>From: EW Plawiuk <ewplawiuk@mail.geocities.com>
>Subject: Privatization fails in Edmonton public schools
>[We're CUPE We Care...for Edmonton's Public Schools]
>Media Release
>May 28, 1997
> Privatization gets failing grade in Edmonton Public Schools
>Edmonton - The results of a 17 month evaluation of contracting out
>demonstrated clearly that contractors could not do the work in Edmonton's
>Public Schools. Just as importantly, the independent Evaluators found that
>privatization actually interfered with the Board's ability to meet its
>obligations under the School Act.
>"Finally the nonsense that private companies can do public sector work
>better than public employees and managers has been put to the test", said
>Doug Luellman, President of the Public Board's custodial staff, CUPE Local
>474. "And the private firms have been found wanting. Custodial work in
>schools is not the same as just cleaning an office building. We are there
>to ensure the students work not just in a clean school, but also in a
>secure environment."
>The performance of the Board's own staff own staff exceeded that of the
>contractors by 18%. Yet the contractors costs in four of the five schools
>were higher than the Board's own staff by an average of 10%. The fifth
>school contract bid was too low to do the job and complaints arose
>throughout the 17 month experiment. At the end of the pilot project,
>in-house custodians had to clean up the school. The estimated cost of this
>clean up is $10,000.
>More disturbing were the findings that contracting out could not "reliably
>deliver the safety, security and therefore the stability required in a
>school setting". The bidding process itself resulted in driving down wages
>so low that the contract companies could not keep staff. Low wages led to
>low skill levels and high labour turnover. The turnover rate was 500% in
>the contract schools. Yet if contractors paid decent wages, they would have
>lost the bid.
>The high turnover in contract schools "made the feeling of security
>non-existent". Principals complained of unlocked doors and windows.
>Principals and teachers in contract schools were constantly diverted from
>their principle responsibilities to deal with custodial matters. Parents
>expressed concern about who was working in these schools.
>"It's time the province backed off pretending that privatization and
>contracting out are the solutions to its deep funding cuts to education",
>said Luellman. "It's time the province put back the money it cut to
>maintain to keep our schools clean and secure."
>For a twenty page brief/summary or a copy of the 123 page original study
>Doug Luellman, President, CUPE Local 474,
>Phone: (403) 424-9696
>Fax: (403) 426-6202
>Mailing address: #102-10154-106 St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5H 2S1
>E-mail address: cupe474@hotmail.com
>CUPE 474 Webpage: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5202/474.htm


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