Middletown adds 57 positions after nixing company contract

Employees of a facilities management company will no longer be contracted out to Middletown City Schools. Instead, the district is ending its agreement with the company and absorbing the 57 positions into the district.

In a letter received Wednesday by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Workforce Development Rapid Response unit, that by June 30, the district would no longer use Sodexo to perform custodial, grounds and maintenance services.

Instead, Middletown schools will hire those Sodexo employees to work for the district, according to district spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle.

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“We won’t have to pay the corporate overhead and supervision costs of paying a service like Sodexo,” Beadle said. “It’s cheaper for us to just hire the workers directly.”

She didn’t specify how much the move would save the district.

It also will mean less tenured Sodexo employees will be making more money with Middletown schools than they did with the company under its custodial and maintenance contract, she said.

The move comes at a time the school district is slashing $2 million in next year’s budget because of economic uncertainty, the rising cost of private school vouchers and flat state funding. Approved by the Middletown Board of Education, the measure is part of a projected $80 million operating budget.

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The positions being absorbed into the district are 40 custodians/environmental service technicians, five general maintenance workers, five groundskeepers, and one plumber, electrician, manager ES-custodial II, manager ES-custodial I; unit controller II, unit clerical and director facilities ops Ill, according to the WARN notice.

The district’s school board on Monday hired Tom Wright as its new supervisor of buildings and grounds to oversee the district’s maintenance and custodial staff, Beadle said.

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