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Two Des Moines County Custodians Keep Their Jobs

Sep 18, 2013

Two Des Moines County employees will not be losing their jobs because of privatization.

The Des Moines County Courthouse

The Board of Supervisors has signed a letter of understanding with the Communication Workers of America, which represents the county's three custodians.

Board Chairman Tom Broeker says the county will be able to seek outside bids to replace a custodian, who retired last month, per the terms of the letter.

At the same time, the other two custodians will remain in their current jobs.

"Right now there will be one person in the courthouse and one person in the jail," says Broeker.  "The contracted employee will handle the sheriff's department and the public health (department)."

The letter resulted from a meeting between the two sides that was held in late August.

Broeker says prior to that, the idea of privatization surfaced shortly after the county signed off on a new three-year contract with the CWA.

He says a department head was told an outside firm could handle custodial duties for much less than what the county was paying its employees.

Bids were eventually received from Hope Haven and Bridgeway.

Broeker says with the letter now in place, the two firms will be asked to resubmit their bids for just one position, as opposed to three.

He says privatizing one position could save the county more than $20,000 in the current fiscal year.