Pine Bluff School Board President Henry Dabner provided the Pine Bluff Commercial with a contract Monday between GCA Educational Services and the Pine Bluff School District. This action followed the Commercial submitting Freedom of Information Act requests to Pine Bluff Superintendent Michael Robinson on May 15 and on July 19.

The service agreement says the contract begins July 1, 2017, and shall end June 30, 2018. It was signed by Robinson on May 19 and by GCA Educational Services vice president of finance/chief financial officer Randy Twyman on May 18.

The district will pay $1,130,369.04 to GCA in 12 monthly installments of $94,197.42, according to the contract. The district is saving about $600,000 through the contract with GCA Educational Services, Robinson and Dabner have said.

Robinson and Dabner have also said that the custodians have kept their jobs as long as they passed a drug test and a background check. Dabner said the employees knew about the outsourcing before it occurred.

Custodians who used to work for the Pine Bluff School District but who are now employed by GCA protested on Tuesday, July 25, about what they called unfair treatment associated with the outsourcing of their jobs. Eight people held signs outside the Pine Bluff School District central office at 512 S. Pine St. denouncing unfair treatment.

The contract says that GCA will provide services at Pine Bluff High School, 711 West 11th Ave.; Jack Robey Junior High School, 4101 S. Olive St.; Belair Middle School, 1301 Commerce Road; 34th Elementary School, 801 E. 34th Ave.; Broadmoor Elementary School, 1106 Wisconsin St.; Southwood Elementary School, 4200 Fir St.; W.T. Cheney Elementary School, 2206 Ridgway Road; Forrest Park/Greenville Pre-K School, 2501 W. 10th Ave.; First Ward Alternative School, 1300 E. Fifth Ave.; Pine Bluff District Administration Office, 512 S. Pine St.; Parent Center, 1215 Pullen St.; and Maintenance and Transportation, 300 N. Linden St.

GCA will furnish, train, manage and direct all GCA employees in performing services, according to the contract. The school district has the right to require the replacement of any GCA employee whose continued presence is not in the best interest of the district provided such replacement shall not contravene any laws, according to the contract.

The school district may terminate the contract with GCA by giving 30 days of written notice “if such service deficiencies are not corrected within that time frame,” according to the contract. GCA and the school district can terminate the contract without cause and for any reason upon giving 60 days written notice to the other party, according to the contract.

“A Joint Review Committee shall be formed and comprised of at least three persons from the customer and three persons from GCA,” the contract says. “The purpose of the committee will be to review the performance by GCA of the services and facilitate regular communication between customer and GCA regarding the services. This committee shall hold its first meeting not later than 30 days from the commencement of this agreement and thereafter shall have regular quarterly meetings.”