PSEA supports new bills to protect ESP members from subcontracting threats

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PSEA supports new bills to protect ESP members from subcontracting threats

In an effort to protect education support professionals from having their jobs subcontracted to for-profit companies, state senators and representatives have introduced bills to increase the transparency and accountability that goes into these life-changing decisions.

PSEA President Dolores McCracken commended Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) and Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) for introducing Senate Bill 795 and House Bill 1914 and encouraged other lawmakers to support them.

“I want to thank Rep. Kaufer and Sen. Blake for their leadership on this issue,” McCracken said. “We all share the same goal, because we want to respect the work that dedicated support professionals do, and we want school districts to recognize that subcontracting deals shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

The bills would prohibit school entities from subcontracting services currently provided by school employees unless the school entities:

  • first solicit proposals for public review,
  • identify three-year cost projections,
  • disclose cost comparisons between the services provided by school employees and the for-profit company, and
  • hold a public hearing to present the selected proposal and receive public input.

“Education support professionals – bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance and custodial staff, and secretaries – provide extremely important services to Pennsylvania’s students every day,” McCracken added. “These bills will ensure that public schools conduct a thoughtful, transparent, fact-based analysis of the impact subcontracting deals will have – before they sign an agreement.”

Preventing subcontracting threats is a priority for PSEA, and McCracken emphasized how important it is to ensure that any potential subcontracting deals take the needs of students, communities, and employees into account.

“Often, subcontracting deals don’t save school districts money, the quality of the service suffers, and they end up breaking a key connection between education support professionals and their communities,” McCracken said. “ESP members’ contributions are too important to sacrifice. We need to honor the incredible work that they do in our schools every day – and these bills are a good way to do it.”