June 10, 2014 at 6:55 am

Ann Arbor school custodians consider co-op to keep jobs

Ann Arbor — Custodians with Ann Arbor schools are considering forming a worker-owned cooperative as part of an effort to keep their jobs if their work is outsourced by the district.

The custodians’ union AFSCME Local 1128 voted Saturday to pursue forming the cooperative. The Ann Arbor News reports the district could contract with the co-op for custodial work without paying into the state retirement system for school employees.

The 114 union members recently learned that Ann Arbor Public Schools district officials were seeking to privatize custodial services. The district says the move would save about $1.8 million — the same figure officials used in 2010 during a previous discussion about privatization.

School board President Deb Mexicotte says the board hasn’t yet received a proposal from the union.