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Ask Sparky

December 3, 2013

SparkyDear Sparky: I’m part of a group of town employees and recently we’ve been hearing a lot about the ‘p’ word—privatization. It’s the same old, same old. They say they can save money by contracting out some of our jobs. We haven’t gotten any specific info about what the town has in mind. Is there anything we can do to nip this business in the bud?

Signed, Getting Worried

Dear Worried: When you mentioned the ‘p’ word, I just assumed you meant ‘puppy.’ Have you seen the messes they make and what they can do to your furniture? Who came up with that idea anyway??? But back to your ‘p’ word. I don’t have to tell you that the threat of privatization is everywhere these days as cash-strapped cities and towns look to save a buck. That’s why you have to make sure that local residents understand that outsourcing has costs they may not have considered. That’s exactly what some of your brothers and sisters who work for the Town of Westborough did when they faced the loss of a custodial position. While the town focused on a particular dollar amount, members of the Westborough units took their message directly to the seniors who would be affected by the cut. Best of all, they won and saved the custodian’s job. Now if we could just do something about those darned puppies...

Sparky Click here to learn more about privatization