The district says that reduction would save the district $273,598.
Members of the Alaska Teamsters Union Local 959 fill district snow plowing jobs.
According to a school board memorandum, Western Construction & Equipment and North Pole Contractors won the district contracts, for a total of $178,125, making for a total school district savings of roughly $95,000.
But Dale Miller with the Teamsters Union says his members may end up filing a grievance against the district -- claiming that it would actually be less expensive to allow his members to continue the snow removal operations than to contract the positions out.
"We believe that our members -- the districts own employees -- can do this work at a cheaper cost," Miller said.
Under the agreement, the private contractors would be responsible for plowing, sanding and removing snow and ice from school grounds and taking it to an offsite location.
But Miller says his district employees also do other tasks not mentioned in the contractor's "scope of work" agreement -- like pothole and asphalt repair.
He says if those tasks were included in the work the contractors orders, it would likely cost the district more than what they're paying Teamsters members now.
"I understand their analysis, and I know where they're coming from," said Abbott. "We don't believe it's correct."
The district says the extra work previously done by ASD employees in addition to snow removal will still be done -- just with different employees.
Nonetheless, Miller says the union is considering filing a grievance against the district for violating the terms of its collective bargaining agreement with the district, which could send the issue to an independent arbitrator.
"We will take full advantage of the process that both sides have agreed to to address the issue and resolve it," Miller said.
Both sides agree that arbitration could be costly, though it wouldn't approach the $95,000 the district says it would save by contracting the snow removal work out.
"It would certainly be ideal if we didn't have to go through this process, but we're certainly not surprised," Abbott said.
The three positions ASD had eliminated in its 2011-12 budget were already vacant, but Teamsters officials say that doesn't mean they're not worth fighting for.
Depending on actual money savings this year, the district says it may look to expand its snow removal outsourcing progam to other schools next year.