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Hillsborough Co. custodians upset over district's possible plan into privatizing custodial services

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 23:19:41-04

Hillsborough County district leaders are looking into privatizing custodial services, a move current custodians are not happy about.

A fired up crowd showed up at the district headquarters to stand up for the men and women who commit to keeping schools clean and safe.

“It means that these people care about their jobs and they want to keep them," head custodian of Cork Elementary John Henderson said.

He has more than three decades of service to Hillsborough Schools.

“They’re not going to get the personal service that we do for the teachers at our schools,” Henderson said.

The district has received bids from private companies to take over all custodial duties, potentially saving millions of dollars.

As of Tuesday night leaders say no decision has been made.

“We want them to know that nothing is changing and we don’t know if something will change," the district said. "It’s a process that we have to at least look at and we will make sure that they are informed the whole way through.”

Hundreds showed up to protest Tuesday morning, and many took their message straight to board members at Tuesday night's meeting.

"Abandon this bad idea, do not privatize janitorial services," one person said.

“Our entire custodial staff moved their families to the school and spent 48 straight hours serving the needs of the community," a local civics teacher said. "Are you going to get that with privatized janitorial services?”

The district says other districts report 80% of private companies' employees have been custodians who came from the school district.

If they were to move forward with the plan, staff will remain in place through the 2019-20 school year.