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July 20, 2013

Four Methuen school custodians suspended

METHUEN — Four School Department custodians were suspended for 10 days over an issue for which an official description is still being worked out between school attorneys and the union.

The custodians, whom city and school officials did not name, started their 10-day unpaid suspension three weeks ago, said Mayor Stephen Zanni. They are serving one unpaid day per week, he said.

“When people are not doing what they’re supposed to do, it’s important the city takes action,” Zanni said. “There are a lot of people out there who don’t have jobs. We have to be above board, and people need to be doing what they should be doing day to day.”

Zanni said the Methuen Custodial Association, which represents the schools’ custodial staff, and the School Department’s attorneys are working out the details of the offense, but they are moving toward a solution.

“I think this issue is trying to be resolved (between) the union and our legal team,” he said.

Superintendent Judith Scannell declined to comment on the matter or on any details, saying she would not publicly discuss employee discipline.

Ken DiGuilio, a member of the Methuen Custodial Association leadership, did not respond to requests for comment.

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