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Weston Schools Tells Custodians' Employer To Resolve Labor Dispute

The Weston school board has advised the company that employs its school custodians to resolve a labor dispute itself, saying the district has no control over the workers' wages and benefits.
The Weston school board has advised the company that employs its school custodians to resolve a labor dispute itself, saying the district has no control over the workers' wages and benefits. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

WESTON, CONN. -- The Weston school board, which has been asked to step into the middle of a labor dispute, has advised the company which supplies the district with janitorial services to clean up its own mess.

Shamrock of New England employs newly unionized school custodians, the board recently pointed out in a public statement.

Therefore, it said, the district has no control over those employees’ wages and benefits.

Over the last few weeks, the board said, members of the community and representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO 371, the workers' union, have contacted it regarding the wage dispute

School trustees said while they are “sensitive” to the workers’ complaints of low wages and lack of certain benefits, it is up to Shamrock to negotiate with them and their union.

The school district’s contract with Shamrock cost a reported $579,950 in its first year.

The five-year contract, which the board approved in 2014, includes, it said, a one percent increase in the fees the district pays each year.

If the district were to agree to fund the increase in wages the workers are seeking, it would cost taxpayers about $250,000 more a year, the board said in its statement.

In conclusion, the board urged Shamrock, a Fairfield-based corporation, to resolve its own labor disputes.

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