GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 29, 2011

City custodians make concessions, 11 to keep jobs

Eleven custodians will return to the city payroll after their union's concessions beat out the city's bottom line for outsourcing.

Their proposal, said Mayor Carolyn Kirk, beats out the city's budgeted outsourcing costs by $10,000. City and union officials finalized their agreement this morning, after the union submitted the initial proposal yesterday. The proposal leaves the city with 20 full-time custodians — the city provided for nine in the budget city councilors approved last week.

The proposal will only cover fiscal 2012, and if cleaning standards or health insurance savings aren't met, according to a release from the mayor's office, the city will reconsider privatizing the service.

"We don't want to send false hope, we want to consider the message that we have to take a hard look at operations across the city," Kirk said.

The custodian's union, Local 687 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, agreed to a $2 per hour reduction in pay, not to collect longevity pay or hourly wage increases for night work, and agreed not to request step pay increases.

Even with the proposal, the city will lay off a full-time custodian and three part-time custodian positions.

Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or sfletcher@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.

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