The Union R-XI Board of Education is considering contracting services for evening custodians.

Superintendent Steve Bryant said the district will still use its own custodians on the day shift, but the district could possibly save some money by hiring an independent custodial service for the evening shift.

“We’ve been seeking some proposals,” he said. “This looks like if things check out, there could be sizable savings per year.”

Union had contracted out custodial service under prior administration, but went back to using its own staff.

“If I remember, we went back to our own staff for two reasons,” board member Ron Sohn said. “One, is that we wanted to use our staff the way we want to use them, and two, they didn’t produce for us like they said they were going to produce.”

The district only contracted custodial services for two or three years, Sohn said.

Board member Virgil Weideman said he would look at a proposal, but was skeptical that it would save the district money.

“It’s hard for me to imagine how somebody else could hire people plus charge a fee and make money and save us money over what we pay our people,” he said. “I’d have to have that proved to me.”

Bryant said if a company was contracted for the evening shift, that company would make every effort to hire existing staff.

Bryant said hiring an independent contractor would allow the district to eliminate six-hour shifts, which is something the district is looking at anyway because of the new health care laws coming into play next year.