One hundred night custodians in the Springfield, Mass. public schools received, along with their paychecks, a pink slip and word that their jobs would be taken over by a privately held cleaning company, according to The Republican. The custodians who were laid off, effective immediately, were second-shift workers who clean schools during off hours of the day.

The change over to contracted cleaners is expected to save $9 million over a five-year period, as well as improve the cleanliness of the schools. But union representatives for the laid-off custodians argue that the benefits to contracted cleaners are untrue and criticize the city for the way the layoffs were handled.

City officials comment that an estimated 100 city employees will remain on as the first-shift custodial staff and are working with the laid-off janitors to discuss available benefits and assistance available to them. Officials also encourage the janitors to seek employment with the contracted cleaner, but those interested argued that the pay is substantially lower than a living wage, and the hours are shorter, making it difficult to live.

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