Custodial Union Rallies Against Shift Changes

Union workers gathered for a demonstration in front of West Islip High School Monday.

Union members of West Islip School District's custodial staff came together in front of West Islip High School Monday to rally against what they called "wholesale changes of workers' hours and shifts made by the district without notice."

The changes are "playing havoc on people’s lives" said Kevin Boyle Jr., president of the United Public Service Employees Union.

According to Boyle's claims, 22 to 23 custodians are being moved from day shifts to night and night shifts to day. At least five people are sole care givers for their parents, he said, making shift changes nearly impossible for them.

The union has no issue with its current contract or wages, Boyle added.

Members said they feel the shift changes are retaliation for pushing back against an attempt by Building and Grounds Director James Bosse to implement additional custodial supervisors in the wake of the closing of Westbrook and Kirdahy Elementary schools.

Boyle said the union met with district officials in May about how the positions would be covered with the two buildings closing. The union thought they had worked out the details, but according to Boyle, the district then went in a
different direction without notice.

“We all feel like we are being punished,” said James Moran, a high school custodian for more than 20 years and a shop steward of the West Islip Custodial Union.

Moran works night shifts, while his wife works during the day. He said moving to the day shift would mean he and his wife having to hire a babysitter to look after their child while they're at work.

Moran told Patch he feels that district is trying to break up the union.

Prior to thse recent events, he said, the union's relationship with the district was "not bad."

Patch's request for comments from the West Islip School District were not immediately returned.

What are your thoughts on the demonstration? Tell us in the comments.

papa smurf June 27, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Good Job Men and Women, I know you all appreciate the community that you serve and work diligently at your craft for . While the job in itself is often repetitive and mundane, you shouldnt be subjected to harrasment and bullying. I know everyone is thankful for being employed through troubling economic times and have worked in good faith throughout to do what is right for the district and the community and taxpayers it serves. I know some of you have been in the same position working for over 15 years and some a shorter period than others. A good Job should be commended and applauded , not punished. I believe this all stems from a lack of poor leadership. Mr. Bosse should be ashamed of himself and embarrased for how he treats the people who work over 300 days a year for him. From my understanding, You have seven schools in the district and you have four chief custodians and eight head custodians. I know im not a math teacher. Maybe Mr. Bosse is better at math than me but 12 supervisors for seven schools seems a little excessive to me. Is the board of Education aware? Maybe ? Maybe not!
sal June 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Papa smurf you are an idiot!!!!!!!!
loretta June 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Ken Ford June 28, 2012 at 03:33 AM
whats being done here is wrong . Many of these people have top work these hrs to help their family,but does the dist care??? NO!!! Now to answer Loretta i'm sure everone of those men and women are glad they have a job. But many of them have worked for many yrs to be able to get those hrs!!!! However the dist DOES NOT care for the work and file as i guess you don't care either !!!
john June 28, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Whats the matter,are you out of work Loretta?They have the right to picket.What do we live in, a communist country?Get real,its their right.
Jim June 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Does the administration have an actual reason for shuffling so many workers around? If not, a claim of retaliation has some credence. Secondly, the number of supervisors may easily exceed the number of school buildings, Custodians work day and night shifts. Therefore more shifts than buildings.
papa smurf June 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Jim You make a valid point about there being two shifts but that is not how the unit is structured in regards to supervisors. 11 out of 12 supervisors work the morning shift. It is a complete waste and misuse of tax payer dollars. As for your question regarding the shift changes, no one understands but mr bosse. I wonder how well he would fair if he was moved to nights.
barbie June 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
WAWAWAWAWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! get to work and be happy ur working!
Fair Minded June 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I am an employee in the district. These men and women are hard workers. I know of at least one custodian who comes to work hours early every day to help out off the clock. They are dedicated. I don't know anyone who is ungrateful for their job. The issue is respect and being provided an environment in which one can do his/her best job. I am EXTREMELY concerned about the timing of this upheaval. Two buildings are being closed; classrooms within buildings are being changed; many principals are being relocated; buildings are undergoing construction and God only knows what else. How does this facilitate a smooth transition with the building closures?
Fair Minded June 28, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I don't know all of the employees and circumstances. I do know that one custodian with a shift change is one that comes in early every day to help off the clock. If an individual does not do his/her job, administration should deal with him/her and not punish everyone for a few. Again, I do not know all of the details and circumstances. I just really cannot wrap my mind around changing the buildings of the custodial staff during this time of transition. Maybe there is a good reason, but I can't imagine what it might be.
papa smurf June 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Corrine, Why wasnt Mr. Bosse questioned. If you refer back to the article it states calls were not returned back from the district. The reasoning is because Bosse has no answers for his moves , or for his shift changes. I if these three worked harder than this wouldnt have happened? Who told you this? Mr. Bosse? Do you have any facts? The truth of the matter is that if Mr. Bosse worked harder he wouldnt need extra supervisors to assist him while he learns on the job. The Taxpayers deserve someone who is qualified when he walks in the door . Someone like the last superintendent of buildings and grounds. It seems to me you are just spreading propaganda in hopes of making hard working men and women look disgruntled and ungrateful. When you are ready to hear real facts let me know. The bottom line is the Custodial staff is full of too many chiefs and not enough indians. In the long run West islip will suffer and the taxpayers will suffer. Keep working Hard men and women!!
papa smurf June 28, 2012 at 09:06 PM
The district will depend and rely on the same people they mistreat . The same people that are bullied and harrased and now ridiculed online as whining and not working will be the ones who step up and go the extra mile. Because the people that have been here and work in the buildings care and take pride in their work. Mr. Bosse doesnt appreciate that.
Fair Minded June 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I know they will, Pa Pa Smurf. In a day where we have to directly teach character traits to combat bullying, I find it troubling that so many workers, not just the West Islip custodial staff but American workers in general, are treated poorly. Even if people don't have an issue with the massive shift, I would hope they would have issue with how they were notified. (group email with a list of assignments) I am saddened by our society's eagerness to jump on board and attack people. This is quite contrary to what we teach our children to do in character education. I am willing to hear opposing arguments, but I request that other people do the same and be civil. I find so many mean and disrespectful comments even on happy, feel-good stories.
papa smurf June 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Fair minded The words you have said couldn't have been said better. I dont know if you saw yesterday but a comment by Corrine Rooney that stated if these men would have worked harder they wouldn't have been moved and said a false statement that ony three were having their shift changed. This led me To believe that te person was most likely a district custodial supervisor who had to defend the poor actions of a power starved administrator. It's sad because west islip is amazing and a great community. Just look at the support throughout the years for the tragedies the community endured or the sporting events. People don't realize that janitors, bus drivers and crossing guards are all trying to make ends meet on long island. Most employees have two forms of employment and when your life is turned upside down by people who are ignorant without justification it is affecting your livelihood and if there's one thing you should stand up for its that.
Fair Minded June 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I did see and respond to it. I noticed that the comment was taken down shortly after our remarks. What gets me is that people seem to hate union workers. They seem to hate public workers even more. Put the two together and wammo! What I wish people would understand is that unions help all workers in the end. If union benefits and wages go down, it will make it easier for the private sector to treat their employees even worse than they do now. I also don't get the I'm a taxpayer mentality. We are too. The sentiment sends me the message that they are the same as the bosses they complain about; they condone mistreatment. I doubt they go to their bosses and say, "Treat me any way you wish, master." My guess is that they are unhappy about their treatment and take it out on those who have more recourse for unfair treatment. It is like a child being told it is okay that Jonny hit you because Mark hit me and Joey before. People need to stand up together instead of tearing each down.
jerry mangone June 29, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Because I did my duty of marching for my union with the Bocce Rat, I, Jerry Mangone was moved out of the High School after being a Custodian at that location for 15 years. What to you call that? I have been working for the West Islip School District for 19 years and counting.
Wendy Regan June 29, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I've read this article twice and I'm still not sure I understand what's happening. "Members said they feel the shift changes are retaliation for pushing back against an attempt by Building and Grounds Director James Bosse to implement additional custodial supervisors in the wake of the closing of Westbrook and Kirdahy Elementary schools." Does this mean that Mr. Bosse wants to add more custodial supervisors (new hires?) or promote from within? Does it mean given the fact that supposedly two of our six elementary schools have been closed---sorry, my mistake....I should have said given the fact that two of our six elementary schools will no longer be open for the purpose of teaching west islip's elementary students, Mr. Bosse needs more custodial supervisors than custodians? Please Mr. Mangone, will you explain to us what's going on?
papa smurf June 29, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I would also like to put out there that the previous comments by Corrine Rooney which stated that the affected shift changes we're due in fact to members not working hard enough were in fact a relative of James bosse. Sister in law?? You can find anything out on social networking sites.
jerry mangone July 02, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I was taken by surprise, my name was never in the mix of personal that had their location or shift changed. The day after I marched with my co-workers a new list came out from Bosse, and guess what, my name appeared and I was moved from the High School to P.J Bellew after 15 years at the H.S. RETALIATION????, You tell me.Jerry Mangone, be honest.
charlie July 03, 2012 at 01:09 AM
hey jerry sometines a change is good! Mb the boss did this all for a reason. i know alot of people who have lost jobs. Relax it will be ok.
jerry mangone July 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Hey Charlie: It's not a matter of having a job, it's a matter of how it was done. How would you feel if someone tells you that "I don't no why JERRY MANGONE did not take the retirement deal", is this not AGE DISCRIMINATION? At 67? PUNISHMENT?
ANONYMOUS July 17, 2012 at 02:24 AM
leave jerry magone at the high school he is always helpful to the staff and students he does a great job and very pleasant to everyone he is very well liked. This move is a very big mistake and after 15 years this is unfair to him JERRY DONT LEAVE US
jerry mangone July 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Thank you for the very kind words, I need many more voice like yours. Where are the?
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