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Wearing buttons with a “Save Our Staff” logo, members of the instructional support staff from the Kennett Consolidated School District were out in force to support their jobs.
On Monday night Deborah Parker, spokesman for the Kennett Consolidated Educational Support Professionals, asked the boar d to reconsider its recent proposal to outsource its support staff duties to Servicemark.
The board recently discussed that idea at a monthly finance committee meeting and is expected to view the Servicemark proposal at the March 18 committee meeting.
In her brief statement, Parker – a special education instructional support person– said that she represented the type of legacy the district would lose by allowing Servicemark to bring in outside employees.
“I live here; my parents graduated from Kennett and I graduated from Kennett. My children graduated from Kennett, as have many of my aunts, uncles and cousins – we’ve been here quite a while,” Parker said.
She also said that she is one of the 60-plus “loyal” employees that would be affected by outsourcing their jobs to Servicemark.
“Your plan to subcontract these support positions destroys everything that has been built in this district for many years,” she said. “We are loyal, we are your employees and we choose to work here and make our careers here in Kennett.”
She also said that outsourcing to private employers would essentially relinquish control of their employees.
“Please reconsider your actions, withdraw your proposal and take a moment to think about the many lives that will be affected by your decision,” she said.
Board member Mike Finnegan, who is also chairman of the finance committee, said that the board – and the public – would be viewing the Servicemark proposal together for the first time at the March 18 meeting.
They would also view two in-house proposals in counter to the Servicemark proposal – one drafted by building and grounds manager Bob Purzel, and one by business manager Mark Tracy.
“We’ll review those, compare them to see if there are similar savings … to the Servicemaster proposal and see if we work out to keep those resources in-house,” Finnegan said.
Parker said that outsourcing the instructional staff represents a frightening trend that could potentially spread to other departments in the district – like secretarial and nursing staff.
She also said that while the KCESP is a relatively new organization, they are making strides in getting their name and their influence out into the Kennett community.
That includes instituting a scholarship for mid-level performing students.
“They have to have a 2.5 to a 3.0 and need to demonstrate a financial need,” she said.
The upcoming finance committee meeting on March 20 is a Greenwood Elementary School at 7.p.m.