NDCC Executive Board Calls for Fair Wages for Newton Public Schools Custodians

Recently, the Newton TAB reported that the Newton School Committee is in a stalemate with the Newton Public Schools Custodians Association. According to the Newton TAB as well as a report by a consultant hired by the School Committee, there is a push toward outsourcing custodial jobs which risks wages, benefits and job security for those working in our public schools. On Thursday, May 5 the NDCC Executive Board unanimously endorsed the following statement of support for protecting good union jobs in Newton:

Sent on May 10

Dear Honorable School Committee Members,

At a May 5 meeting, members of the Newton Dems Executive Committee discussed the possibility that the NPS might not renew its contract with the Newton Public School Custodians Association. This issue was raised by several of our members and discussed by the group.

All those present at the meeting were concerned that long-time union employees could be let go and replaced by non-union workers who may not have benefits or fair wages. We were deeply concerned that a consultant working with the School Committee seemed to recommend cutting wages and benefits or hiring non-union contract workers even while there would be a strong negative response from the community about low wages, turnover and safety of students. We certainly would share those concerns in the event contract employees replaced union employees in the Newton schools. 

At the NDCC meeting, members of the Executive Committee voted unanimously to send this communication to the School Committee to express our strong support for public employee unions. Specifically, our members would like to ask the School Committee to ensure that all NPS custodial staff remain unionized with good pay and benefits. We oppose the hiring of non-union, contract employees as well as any effort, of any kind, to reduce custodians' compensation and/or benefits. 

The Newton Democratic City Committee joins state and national Party organizations in strongly supporting unions and, along with that, ensuring fair wages and benefits for all workers. We hope that our home community will remain a place that ensures workers are fairly compensated.

On behalf of the NDCC Executive Committee, a group of approximately 50 activists and elected officials (click here for the member list who are BCC'd on this email), thank you for your consideration of this message.

Shawn Fitzgibbons
Chair, Newton Democratic City Committee
(617) 997-2577

Executive Committee members listed below

Elected NDCC Officers:
Shawn Fitzgibbons
Sharon Stout
Holly Ryan
Bill Sage

Robert Fitzpatrick
Emily Prenner
Cecelia Burks
Betty Chan
Carol Fulton
Joan McGrath

Ward Chairs and Designees:
Janet Sterman
Larissa Hordynsky
Ken Krems
Dmitriy Gridnev
Barbara John
Jerry Glass
Allan Cole
Dan Clifford

Executive Committee Members:

David Albright
Rep. Ruth Balser
Hannah Banks
Bryan Barash
Claudia Bowman Barash
Audrey Cooper
Sen. Cindy Creem
Susan Davidoff
Bernie Goulding
Ted Gross
Councilor Jay Harney
Bill Humphrey
Martina Jackson
Rep. Kay Khan
Priscilla Leith
Wendy Levine
Councilor Emily Norton
Ken Parker
Dorothy Reichard
Gary Rucinski
Caroline Schwarzwalder
Ruth Shapiro
Tim Snyder
Chris Steele
Frank Wolpe