TEXAS CITY — College of the Mainland has issued a request for proposals as trustees and the administration consider outsourcing the college’s facility, grounds and maintenance services positions. 

College President Beth Lewis said the request was sent out Monday. She said she hoped to have information to assess the costs and benefits of outsourcing the positions by late February and possibly have a decision by mid-March. 

The college employs about 13 people in those areas and spends about $500,000 on salaries for current employees and on benefits for those who have retired, according to the college. 

Lewis said when an employee retires from the college, the college pays for medical insurance for the rest of their lives.

About seven years ago, the state of Texas stopped funding retirement and group health insurance benefits for physical plant employees at public junior colleges in Texas, Lisa Templer, vice president for college and financial services, said in an email in November. 

So, while the college is pleased with its maintenance and facilities workers, the question comes down to how the college should be spending its money, Lewis said. 

“It comes back to what is the mission of the college,” she said. 

The college outsources its bookstore and food services because those things are not part of the mission of the college, Lewis said. 

“It is not in the mission of the college to make hamburgers,” she said. “It is not really in the mission of the college to cut the grass.” 

No decision has been made yet, and Lewis said that if the college decides to outsource positions, she would be as fair as possible to the current employees.

“If we went with somebody, we would want to make sure that they gave first look to our current employees so that the would get picked up by the other company,” Lewis said. 

She said she would also want long-serving employees close to retirement to be treated fairly, as well. 

“We would want to honor those people that have been here for more than 20 years or so,” she said. 

“We would want to be as fair as possible.”

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com

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