WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Board of Trustees keeps internal housekeeping services

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By Ben Markley

At the Oct. 20 Board of Trustees meeting, college president Terry Calaway announced that the administration decided not to outsource housekeeping sources.

Calaway said that the budget process led to consideration of outsourcing various services, including custodial staff. He said that the administration spent the last several months exploring possibilities for housekeeping, receiving five bids from outsourcing services as well as researching the financial potential of multiple options.

Calaway said a major concern was if custodial staff worked through outsourcing services, they would take significant salary and benefit cuts which would be frozen for five years.

“We just didn’t think that was realistic for anyone,” Calaway said.

He said considering cuts, severance packages and unemployment costs, maintaining internal services with better efficiency would be as financially beneficial as outsourcing. The institution could save around $750,000 by increasing efficiency through the current staff, such as closing buildings earlier and earlier shifts.

Calaway said that the college might continue to cut costs in the future by bringing in part-time positions and outsourcing building by building, without replacing current staff.

Trustee chair Don Weiss said he was very pleased with the college’s decision.

“I believe that we owe a duty to both the taxpayers and our employees,” Weiss said. “I think we’ve found a very constructive way here to satisfy both of those.”

Trustee Greg Musil said the process was difficult and could not satisfy everyone.

“If we do it quickly so that there’s certainty, then the college will be accused of not studying it, not taking account of everybody, not having a process,” he said. “If we take too long, we’ve left a lot of families in limbo.”

Musil said re-evaluations of the budget needed to continue in the future.

“It can’t be business as usual going forward,” he said. “We’re going to continue to face the pressure to reduce non-academic costs so that we can put dollars into teaching.”

Trustee Melody Rayl said the college would begin a full compensation study, including benefit packages and salaries, to determine whether the college’s compensation was within market norms.

The study will begin with the faculty, including adjuncts. Rayl said there was some faculty objection over being first in the study. She said some faculty members were concerned that the study would be rushed in order to be used in later negotiations. The study will continue as planned, but Rayl said the process would be allowed to take its time without being hurried for negotiations.

Rayl also presented a revised social media policy to the Board for a first look, although guidelines for social media are still a work in progress.

“It’s important to recognize and make sure that we are in a position to address inappropriate conduct that occurs on social media that may put the college at risk,” Rayl said.

For more information about the Board of Trustees, minutes, packets, and meeting dates, visit http://www.jccc.edu/trustees.

Contact Ben Markley, news editor, at bmarkle2@stumail.jccc.edu.

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