Don’t Privatize Our Crossing Guards

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here.  It’s a time to sit back, relax and plan those long awaited vacations, but sadly not for us all. Thirty-four of our community members; friends and neighbors, must sit on pins and needles wondering if they will have a job come September. They were all required to reapply and fill out applications for their positions. These thirty-four people have not had a raise in 9 years.  While surrounding towns are unionized and receive between $18 and $22 per hour, they are asking for a thirty-five cent raise to bring their current wage of $14.65 to a full $15 per hour.  They are asking to be paid for the few snow days that take place over the course of the winter. These thirty-four people, crossing guards, who see to the safe passage of our children as they walk to and from school every day, still have no contract.  Not only do they not have contracts but the town council has decided to go out to bid for a third party, out of state company to take over the handling of our crossing guards.  This will take place in August, a time when many are out of town and unaware of the pending plan.

Why repeat a past mistake?  It is my understanding that a third party was brought in a few years back to handle the hiring of substitute teachers.  It is also my understanding that it was such a dismal failure in bringing in the quality of people parents demand when it comes to the people working with our children that the company pulled out.  You may hear otherwise but it was the company that left, not the Board of Education who cancelled.

As a former Board of Education member, PTO president in Montville and most of all a concerned parent, it is a given that you need to directly handle background checks for people working so closely with our children.  I urge parents to contact their PTO’s for information if it hasn’t been already distributed.  I urge everyone who is concerned about the safety of our children to phone/write letters to Mayor Vergano, town council members and/or voice your opinion at town council meetings.  This is truly no way to treat respected members of our community, some of who are retired and been on the job with watchful eye for twenty years.  These thirty-four people deserve our thank you for a job well done.

Arlene Sullivan, candidate for Wayne Ward 1 Township Councilor

Printed in Wayne Today

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