MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Sex offenders and rapists working as school janitors. That was part of an attack by MCS employees levied against the private company bidding to take over custodial work when city and county schools merge. School board members deiced to hold off on the vote and rebid on the vendors at a later time.
“It’s sickening, very sickening,” said AFSCME Local 1733 Assistant Director Gail Tyree.
Tyree represents more than 700 MCS custodial workers. She’s mortified after doing some digging about a company called GCA Services based out of Ohio. The Unified School Board wanted to hire GCA to outsource custodial work.
“We did some research and we’re looking at all the bidders and the one bidder that we don’t want or that we’re concerned with our children is GCA,” said Tyree.
GCA also has an office in Knoxville. Schools in that area and in Texas hired GCA janitors. Many had criminal backgrounds, like registered sex offenders. Tuesday night GCA told the unified board they are a “reputable company.” The GCA president refused to talk with us about their former employees.
Now the unified board is reconsidering who to hire and opening the bids to everyone. Tyree claims AFSCME submitted an internal bid but the board ignored it.
“There was an internal bid that was not shared and we’re asking them if they’re going to reopen the bids that they also make the internal bid public knowledge,” said Tyree. “GCA has not done a very good job of background checks and we need to be careful of who our children are exposed to.”
Whatever company the board decides to hire, there’s no guarantee 750 current MCS janitors will be hired.
“If you take my job from me I can’t support my kids or my grandchildren that are in the school system,” said a long time janitor Loraine Marr.
There’s no set timeline when the board will make the final decision to hire a company to outsource custodial work. One board member says that may take up to April to make a decision.