Category Archives: Custodial

Union members ask trustees to reject outsourcing at UT

Source: MJ Slaby, Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 22, 2016

For nearly a year, members of the United Campus Workers union, like McDaniel, and others have protested a plan by Gov. Bill Haslam that would allow outsourcing of maintenance and management of public buildings, including on college campuses. The state has repeatedly said each campus would be allowed to opt into or out of the plan, which has been met with scepticism by the union. But now, that decision to opt in or out may come at the same time the Knoxville campus has a new chancellor. Based on state timelines, campuses are expected to make decisions in early 2017, and UT President Joe DiPietro said Tuesday he hoped to have a new chancellor in spring 2017. …

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Outsourcing Savings Estimates Strain ‘Credulity’
Source: Sam Stockard, Memphis Daily News, May 19, 2016

… The plan, if all departments participate, is projected to save $35.8 million by the second year of a contract for building operations and services – with the requirement state workers keep their jobs, with comparable pay and benefits as long as they perform. The contract would be available for all state properties, enabling colleges and universities, for example, to compare their costs to the contract in deciding whether to opt in, according to Cowles. … The Department of General Services started moving on the process in 2015, much to the chagrin of state employees, primarily United Campus Workers, who contend their jobs and pay will suffer. They rallied during the recent legislative session and then petitioned the governor again in late April. Several state lawmakers also raised questions about the office’s plan when it went before the Senate State and Local Government Committee in March. Some called it “corporate rhetoric,” while others said it “strains credulity.” … In early April, the state made a request for qualifications from potential facilities management service providers to determine whether they can do the job. … The state appears to be head over heels in love with Chicago-based JLL, saying it has saved the state $10 million since it took over facilities management a few years ago. Cowles points out in his presentation JLL is ranked the city’s best employer by the Nashville Business Journal. United Campus Workers is questioning why the office started looking for qualified vendors before the independent review is complete. It also is pointing out the state is continuing to change its tone throughout this situation, now softening its stance to say colleges could choose just to go with a landscaping portion of the contract or janitorial services, for example.

Campus workers present letter of concern to Haslam administration over privatization effort
Source: Richard Locker, Knoxville News Sentinel, April 26, 2016

… The governor’s facilities management outsourcing initiative is apparently the largest ever attempted by a state government. When a request for information was issued last summer to gauge interest from potential contractors, it proposed a contract covering the operation and maintenance of virtually all state-owned property, including office buildings, state parks, college and university campuses, prisons, armories and hospitals. In March, the outsourcing team issued a “business justification” for the plan estimating that it could save taxpayers $36 million a year if fully implemented, even while protecting current employees’ jobs — although their employment would be transferred to the contractor. Cowles acknowledged at the time that no firm cost comparison would be realized until a contract is bid and negotiated. Largely at the request of higher education officials, Haslam agreed to hire an outside consultant to evaluate his team’s estimates of savings and the state on March 17 started the process of selecting a contractor to perform that work.

Tennessee moves to review possible outsourcing partners
Source: Adam Tamburin, The Tennesean, April 11, 2016

The state took steps Monday to review possible options for outsourcing facilities management on college campuses and other government-owned properties. An internal review released last month by Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration suggested privatizing the management of residence halls, student centers and other properties across the state could save $36 million annually. On Monday the state released a request for qualifications, or RFQ, that will allow businesses to express interest in participating in the proposed outsourcing plan. … Critics have said outsourcing would translate to sub-par services, particularly for colleges, and slashed pay and benefits for employees. Haslam has said the savings are possible without layoffs or cuts to pay or benefits.

Critics question Haslam’s outsourcing plan
Source: Joel Ebert, The Tennessean, March 22, 2016

While proponents of the plan say the effort will result in taxpayers saving millions of dollars, Chris Dauphin, the organization’s communications director, questioned the $35.8 million in estimated savings. The figure was mentioned by Terry Cowles, director of customer-focused government, during a presentation to the Senate State and Local Government Committee in early March. On Tuesday, Dauphin told the same committee that the state can save money without having to outsource the facilities management on every state property. … Dauphin advocated for a more common-sense approach before warning that outsourcing could result in cost shifting down the line. He said a private company could decide to have annual rate increases, pointing to a contract between the Texas A&M University system and Compass Group USA, an outsourcing company, that resulted in students being forced into paying more for meal plans as a result of the privatization plan. Dauphin also explained that the 1,647 state workers at the university were forced to reapply for their jobs, with only 600 being rehired.
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Lansing School District privatizes custodial, maintenance jobs

Source: RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal, June 17, 2016

The Lansing Board of Education voted Thursday night to privatize more than 100 custodial and maintenance jobs within the Lansing School District. The 7-1 vote was taken 10 months after SodexoMAGIC was initially recommended by the district’s administration. Trustee Guillermo Lopez cast the lone vote in opposition. Approximately 109 district employees are affected by the privatization of custodial and other facilities-related jobs, said Lucy Rensberry, chair of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council Local 1390. … The district will begin negotiations with SodexoMAGIC, a partnership between Sodexo Inc. and the Earvin “Magic” Johnson-owned Magic Johnson Enterprises next week, said Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul. The district has a three-tiered plan it will present to SodexoMAGIC on how to keep employees within three years of reaching their pension thresholds under the district’s payroll until they hit their milestones. … SodexoMAGIC promised a litany of benefits in its proposal, including giving $1 million toward 21st-century classrooms as well as $60,000 in grants and summer internships for students. The company also vowed to hire all existing staff at their previous salaries and seniority levels and spend $750,000 on updated equipment and vehicles. …

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Privatizing custodians in Lansing schools up for vote Thursday
Source: RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal, June 14, 2016

Whether to privatize about 115 custodial and other facilities jobs in the Lansing School District is expected to be decided by the Lansing Board of Education on Thursday. It’s the second time in 10 months board members have been asked by the administration to approve SodexoMAGIC as the district’s facilities management company. … SodexoMAGIC was the highest bidder among those who provided cost estimates, but promised a litany of additional benefits. … SodexoMAGIC also promised to hire all current facilities staff while maintaining wages and seniority. It vowed to invest $750,000 toward improving facilities, including adding staff as well as updated equipment and vehicles. The move would allow the district to focus on education, removing the burden of hiring and training facilities staff, Spadafore added. Current district employees hired by SodexoMAGIC would lose their ability to contribute to the state pension system, a point of contention among staff, according to Dan Hamilton, staff representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25. …

No vote taken on Lansing school’s privatization plan
Source: RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal, June 2, 2016

After spending more than 30 minutes discussing the possibility of privatizing custodial and other facilities services within the Lansing School District, Board of Education members chose not to vote on the issue Thursday evening. Several board members cited concerns about the administration’s recommendation to award a facilities management contract to SodexoMAGIC, including how third-party staff would be integrated into schools and what efforts would be made to accommodate current union staff approaching retirement. … The company promised to hire all current facilities staff, roughly 115 employees, and maintain their wages and seniority, and pay $750,000 toward improving infrastructure within the district as well as addition staffing, equipment and vehicles. Custodians and other facilities staff would lose access to state-sponsored pensions if they became SodexoMAGIC employees, according to Dan Hamilton, staff representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25. Several staff members have nearly reached retirement age or their 30-year pension thresholds, and he hopes the district can work with the union to find a way to keep those employees under the district’s banners until they reach their milestones. …
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Legislators blast plan to privatize T warehouse jobs

Source: Nicole Dungca, Boston Globe, June 13, 2016

Legislators and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority workers blasted potential plans to outsource jobs in the MBTA’s warehouse operations, as officials on Monday made their case for privatizing the department. Saying the warehouse operations system is “completely broken,” T officials are pushing to outsource about 38 jobs in a department that costs approximately $4.2 million annually. … Also Monday, MBTA officials revealed that they had quietly replaced Transit Police officers with private security agents at the “money room” where employees count cash fares — a move that sparked criticism from police union officials who said they had little notice and noted that the T had hired the security agency that employed the gunman in this weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando. … [Michael Keller] blamed the T’s system, noting that it runs the central warehouse only 40 hours a week, despite 24-hour maintenance. He also said the system encourages mechanics to take parts even when a stockperson isn’t there to track the inventory — which contributes to the system’s inaccuracies. …

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Could outsourcing fix this T problem?
Source: Nicole Dungca, Boston Globe, June 12, 2016

T officials Monday plan to make the case for privatizing the sprawling warehouse department, which employs about 38 employees for approximately $4.2 million annually. Officials say it could lead to major improvements to the T’s maintenance operations and will represent one of the first efforts by Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to test the suspension of the so-called Pacheco law, which puts up hurdles for outsourcing state jobs. … The majority of the T’s inventory — about $38 million — is at two central warehouse locations in Everett and Charlestown. Maintenance workers usually call upon the warehouses when their own supplies — for things as simple as cables, brake rotors, and air filters — at their garages run out. T officials say that process, which can take up to 80 hours, should take about 12 by industry standards. That’s partly because the main warehouse is only open for eight hours a day, five days a week, compared with the maintenance department, which is working around the clock. … Officials say fixing the system internally could prove to be too expensive, especially as the agency looks for ways to balance its books. Polcari said the T would need to upgrade its warehouses and equipment, which could cost about $14.5 million. Officials hope the agency’s fiscal control board will sign off on a timeline that would allow the T to put out a request for proposals later this month, then select a bidder by the middle of August. …

The next big MBTA battle will be about privatization
Source: Adam Vaccaro, Boston.com, June 7, 2016

In nearly a year since new management took control of the MBTA, the agency has taken several steps to achieve Gov. Charlie Baker’s directive that it get its financial house in order. … But it has yet to act on what proved to be Baker’s most contentious plan for the agency a year ago: To outsource parts of the agency to private companies. … In a conference call last week, MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve told reporters that privatization — or “flexible contracting,” as the T calls it — will be a focus of the agency in the coming weeks. He said the agency is examining “several initiatives we’re going to move quickly on to leverage flexible contracting” as part of a strategy to cut down on a budget deficit projected for $80 million next year, even after accounting for fare hikes and the end of late-night weekend service. …
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Commentary: Say no to outsourcing custodians

Source: Michael Zilles, President of Newton Teachers Association, Wicked Local, June 10, 2016

The Newton Teachers Association is appalled by the efforts of the School Committee, under Chairman Matt Hills, to outsource the work of the school custodians. It is bad enough that, having outsourced the work of cafeteria workers, Newton already employs the working poor to serve its children lunch; now the committee wants the working poor to clean their schools. … To date, members of the NTA have publicly stated two critical reasons why outsourcing is wrong:

  1. Outsourcing is unsafe. Our custodians are trusted and valued members of the school communities where they work. Contract custodians would not be a part of these communities, and the schools they work in would be neither as clean nor as safe as they are now.
  2. Outsourcing is hypocritical. Newton has prioritized improving the achievement of poor and minority students— closing the achievement gap. Yet by replacing solid middle-class jobs with low- paying contract jobs, Newton would be contributing to the very economic conditions that create that gap.

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Newton School Committee, custodians at odds over outsourcing
Source: Laura Lovett, Wicked Local, May 18, 2016

After almost two years of contract negotiations, custodians and the School Committee are at a stalemate, the issue of outsourcing emerging as one obstacle to reaching an agreement. A jurisdiction clause dating back to the 1990s allows only union custodians to perform custodial work in the school buildings. At issue is whether the clause will be removed from a new contract. If the clause were to be removed some custodians could be replaced with contract employees making lower wages, according to Alan McDonald, the attorney representing the Newton Public School Custodians Association. Currently there are roughly 80 custodians in the schools. … In the response, outsourcing was discussed at length. The response said the School Committee presented several proposals with the goal of efficiency in operations and saving money. A consultant’s report by Core Management Services LLC, commissioned by the School Committee in 2015, identified potential annual cost savings through outsourcing of up to $3 million. …

Nashua custodians maintain jobs through summer as Labor Board processes claim

Source: Tina Forbes, Nashua Telegraph, June 1, 2016

With 30 days left on their contract, Nashua union custodial workers are likely to stay with the district through the summer as an unfair labor complaint against the district is still being processed by the Public Employee Labor Relations Board. Last fall, the Board of Education voted to explore hiring a private company to replace 101 union custodian positions, citing a need to achieve “substantial savings to the district’s operating budget.” …

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Nashua mayor urges school board to reject privatization of custodians
Source: Kimberly Houghton, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 26, 2016

Mayor Jim Donchess expressed disapproval with the school board this week for considering outsourcing its cleaning service, a move that would leave 101 custodians without a job. … The school district issued a request-for-proposals for outside custodial work, and received four bids from companies interested in the job. For the first year of work, SJ Services quoted $2,696,454, Temco is offering $3,368,592, GCA is charging $2,931,058 and ABM is requesting $5,572,081. All four bids are lower than what the school district is currently paying its 101 custodians — about $6,178,000 for salaries, benefits, overtime, longevity, supplies and equipment. All four bids offered five years of quotes, which ranged in savings from $606,000 to $3,481,627 compared to existing custodial staff costs. …

Board gets estimate on privatizing at meeting
Source: Tina Forbes, The Nashua Telegraph, March 2, 2016

Even the most expensive outside contractor would save the school district more than $500,000 over the current custodial staff, according to an analysis of Nashua School District costs. All four of the companies that submitted bids to take over the school district’s custodial services proposed prices less than what the district pays its roughly 100 custodians in salaries and benefits – about $5.7 million. The district pays another $498,720 on overtime, supplies, equipment and longevity payments, according to data presented Monday by District Business Manager Dan Donovan. …
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Campus insources workers after ongoing plans

Source: Kimberly Nielson, The Daily Californian, May 16, 2016

After seven months of protests by campus employees and students, UC Berkeley finalized plans to insource 69 campus workers from three private contract companies last week. The decision to insource workers was part of the Fair Wage/Fair Work Plan, a broader university movement aiming to support campus employees and raise their salaries, campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email. She added that campus officials have coordinated with AFSCME, a labor union representing UC workers, to work out appointment details since March. The campus has offered employment to all formerly contracted night shift and athletic custodians, as well as campus parking attendants contracted through LAZ Parking, according to Gilmore. She also noted that workers from ABM and Performance First were also given priority employment with the university. … Campus officials will also discontinue contracting additional parking or custodial workers for the remainder of the existing service agreement, extending their efforts to remedy “grotesque injustice” endured by contracted workers on campus, according to Stenhouse. …

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Opinion: Union calls for reasonable reform at UC
Source: Katherine Lybarger, President of AFSCME Local 3299, Sacramento Bee, May 8, 2016

As a widening scandal involving misuse of public funds and other ethical breaches by its top brass grips the University of California, The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board criticized UC’s largest employee union for advocating greater scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest at UC (“Let’s step back from UC Davis turmoil”; May 1). The board also criticized AFSCME Local 3299 for legislation that would encourage UC elites to stop squandering public funds on private contractors that exploit low-wage workers. There are thousands of contract custodians, landscapers, food service workers and others who do the same full-time jobs as direct UC employees for a fraction of the pay and no benefits. Instead of bringing these workers in-house, UC has fought to ensure its well-connected contractors continue to profit by condemning legions of these workers to lives of poverty and second-class status. … UC has recently told the Legislature that providing livable wages and direct employment to contract workers affected by Senate Bill 959 wouldn’t cost UC a dollar more. In fact, they’ve said it might even save money since $138 million of the $345 million that UC spends on such deals is squandered on overhead and contractor profits. In other words, the editorial board’s assertions about SB 959 simply do not add up. …

Campus sheds light on rationale for insourcing formerly subcontracted workers
Source: Ericka Shin, The Daily Californian, March 30, 2016

The campus already had plans in the works to insource or fill vacant positions for at least 55 custodians prior to the recent agreement, but the March 18 decision has resulted in the campus offering jobs to an additional 14 custodians and 24 parking attendants, according to an email from Mogulof. Among these newly insourced employees are the 69 workers employed by ABM, PerformanceFirst and LAZ Parking who are being officially insourced as UC employees, according to Kristian Kim, a member of the campus’s Student Labor Committee. The agreement also stipulates that the campus will not contract out regularized parking or custodial work through June 30, 2017, Mogulof said in an email.

UC Berkeley Agrees to Hire Subcontracted Workers After Threats of Boycott
Source: Josh Lefler, The Guardian, March 27, 2016

The University of California hires at least 45 different private companies to fill staffing positions across the UC campuses in the areas of custodial work, food services, landscaping, security, parking and more, according to an AFSCME 3299 report. The same report concluded that these workers are paid as little as 53 percent less than workers who are employed directly by the University of California and do not receive the same benefits. The nearly 100 subcontracted workers, who were just recently hired by the university, were described as having “more than 440 years of combined experience working at UC Berkeley,” but were paid below the wage of an official UC employee, according to Stenhouse.

UC Berkeley reaches labor agreement on contract workers
Source: Tom Lochner, Contra Costa Times, March 18, 2016

UC Berkeley, in what one of its unions hailed as a “historic victory for contract workers,” has agreed to offer direct employment to all regular night shift and athletics custodians currently working at the institution through private contractors, the university announced Friday. As part of the agreement, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 will end its “speakers boycott,” the university said. Under the boycott, AFSCME objected to speakers with engagements at the campus. … The union said 93 custodial and parking workers fall under the agreement. The university said it will offer to hire all campus stack parking attendants currently employed through LAZ Parking. …

Subcontracted campus workers insourced as UC employees, ending speakers’ boycott
Source: Adrienne Shih, The Daily Californian, March 18, 2016

After nearly seven months of campaigning, 69 previously subcontracted workers have officially been insourced as UC employees, ending an ongoing campus speakers’ boycott. The workers — employed by ABM, PerformanceFirst and LAZ Parking — were previously a part of the University of California’s two-tier employment policy. The campus employs some individuals directly, or in-house, while others who do temporary or seasonal work are employed as subcontracted workers, receiving reduced pay and fewer benefits than their directly employed counterparts.
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Middletown School Board Ends Contract With Outside Firm To Hire Facilities Director

Source: Shawn R. Beals, Hartford Courant, May 11, 2016

The board of education will end its relationship with facilities management company Sodexo, opting to hire its own facilities director instead of outsourcing the duties. … The board voted unanimously against renewing Sodexo’s contract for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The contract was set to increase about $20,000 in the next fiscal year to about $1.97 million. The current contract will expire at the end of the fiscal year June 30. The board had paid the company to bring in a manager and handle a host of duties within the $7.8 million facilities budget including day-to-day supervision, purchasing and project management. … AFSCME Local 466 has been asking the school board to end the contract for three years. The union is pleased with the vote, said union spokesman Larry Dorman. …

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Middletown School Board Extends Sodexo Contract Despite Union Objections
Source: Shawn R. Beals, Courant, June 11, 2015

The board of education on Tuesday night extended the contract of facilities management company Sodexo for the 2015-16 school year, despite objections from both the union representing facilities staff and Republican board members. Those who supported the contract said they expect better performance from Sodexo in personnel matters, but are pleased with much of the company’s performance in cutting costs and accomplishing projects that have been delayed for years. The board voted 4-3 to extend the contract, which will cost $1.95 million. …

Sodexo comes under fire at Middletown school board meeting
Source: Brian Zahn, Middletown Press, March 12, 2015

Members of the Board of Education authorized Superintendent Patricia Charles to find a disinterested party to conduct an independent review of how much the facilities management company Sodexo is saving the school district Tuesday. …. Thibodeau also referenced a Jan. 6 incident in which Woodrow Wilson Middle School cafeteria workers reported a gas odor in the morning, and Sodexo facilities management director Judy Yoder ordered employees to continue working, which he believes put the employees and students’ lives at risk. Woodrow Wilson building Superintendent Denise Privott also told the board that the savings Sodexo approved for things such as garbage bags and cleaning supplies provided her with low-quality equipment that made custodial work excessively difficult….

Middletown Union Objects To School District Outsourcing
Source: Shawn R. Beals, Hartford Courant, May 2, 2014

The city employee union said it objects to the board of education’s outsourcing of cafeteria and facilities management. The board approved hiring Sodexo, a Maryland-based national company, about a year ago in an attempt to stop yearly deficits from the school cafeterias. The contract did not include layoffs, but replaced the facilities director and food service director, who both took an early retirement incentive offer. …. Union officials say they remain unconvinced about the benefits of outsourcing local operations. “It’s very easy to say it’s providing savings, but it’s a lot harder to prove,” said Larry Dorman, a spokesman for AFSCME Council 4, the parent union for Middletown Local 466. “These are complicated agreements so there definitely is a problem with transparency too.”

GHC outsourcing security, custodial services

Source: Northwest Georgia News, May 11, 2016

Georgia Highlands College will be outsourcing campus safety and custodial positions at all campuses, according to school officials. “We want to broaden our security and are privatizing and restructuring the custodial program to help with the costs of that expansion,” explained Sheila Jones, director of public relations and marketing. … The college’s human resources department is arranging employee meetings with Dynamic Security, the company that will be supplying security services. Employee meetings will also be set up with 3H Systems, the custodial services company. … The college currently has 29 full-time employees working in custodial and security departments at all of its campuses. Also, security and custodial staff will be encouraged to apply for any open GHC positions for which they may be qualified, and human resources will contact Kennesaw State, Dalton State and the Technical College System of Georgia to obtain information on any position opportunities they have.

Plainfield D-202 board, union reach agreement that avoids outsourcing

Source: Felix Sarver, Herald News, May 9, 2016

A controversial proposal to outsource custodians at Plainfield School District 202 was avoided as the board and custodians’ union reached a new agreement.  The agreement between the board and the Plainfield Association Support Staff is one that Board President Michelle Smith said at Monday’s meeting will “result in significant savings for the district over the next three years” but that PASS President John Piechocinski stated in a news release is “bittersweet at best.” … Under the agreement the board approved Monday – and that PASS voted in favor of Saturday – custodians will continue to receive their pay, workers’ compensation coverage, health insurance and retirement benefits through District 202, according to a news release.  District officials emphasized in a news release that the agreement could save $1.8 million in costs a year.  However, custodial positions will be restructured and their numbers will be lowered and certain positions will make less while the pay for some others will remain the same. … The district received custodial services bids from ABM, Aramark and GCA Services Group.

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Plainfield D-202 to hold hearing on outsourcing custodial services
Source: Felix Sarver, Herald News, April 24, 2016

… The district received bids from GCA Services Group, ABM and Aramark for custodial services that could reduce costs between $908,000 to $9.9 million during the next three years, depending on the number of positions deployed, pay rates and benefits, district officials have said. A three-year total cost analysis of six base bids presented to the public at an April 11 board meeting from the companies showed GCA Services Group mostly having the lowest cost, with the exception of base bid No. 3 from ABM. Aramark showed to have the highest cost. PASS, the district’s support staff union, has criticized the proposal and rallied against the proposal. …

Plainfield School District 202 Hears Bids for Custodial Services
Source: Scott Viau, Plainfield Patch, April 13, 2016

Three businesses have submitted bids to the Plainfield School District 202 Board of Education to take over custodial services from the Plainfield Association of Support Staff. The businesses include Wisconsin-based ABM, Aramark and Downers Grove-based GCA Services Group. While District 202 will hold a public hearing on the bids at its April 25 meeting, the Board of Education heard the bids Monday evening at its regular board meeting. … The bids received would reduce costs between $908,000 to $9.9 million over the next three years, depending on benefits, pay rates and the number of positions employed. District 202 currently has 190 custodial positions that work either 4, 6, 6.5 or 8 hours daily. If PASS custodians continue to work at the schools, it would cost the district about $27.5 million over three years, according to the district. The school district asked vendors to provide costs for six different service packages, with the number of employees, hours worked and pay rates being the variables.

View from Union’s Side on 202 Custodian Issue
Source: WJOL, April 13, 2016

As Plainfield School District 202 looks in the possibility of outsourcing custodial services in an effort to save money, Ann Bachman McIntosh who is with Uniserve IEA and is representing the custodians in District 202, says there is a lack of transparency from the district to the custodians when it comes to actual savings of possible outsourcing. Currently the District is mulling over 3 bids for possibly outsourcing custodial services, and McIntosh told WJOL that district will not allow them to see the bids under consideration. When asked if the District could save money and receive the same level of service, McIntosh says being fiscally responsible is very important but, that there could be an impact on the local economy.

Plainfield support staff union rallies at District 202 meeting
Source: Felix Sarver, The Herald-News, February 22, 2016

District 202 officials’ announcement earlier this month that they were considering outsourcing custodial services came as a “complete shock” to PASS members, who have since planned to rally and pack Board of Education meetings from February to May. Board President Michelle Smith read a statement at Monday’s meeting saying she had to apologize to parents, staff and custodians “who have been misled by blatantly inaccurate information” about board members’ consideration of outsourcing. … She said discussions about outsourcing initially arose in response to concerns of a possible strike by custodians during the upcoming PASS negotiations. The district is obligated to keep buildings open, clean and well-maintained and one way to do so in the event of the strike is to contract with a third party, she said.

Plainfield District 202 to consider outsourcing custodial services
Source: Felix Sarver, The Herald-News, February 12, 2016

Plainfield School District 202 officials are considering outsourcing custodial services, which comes as a “complete shock,” according to the district’s support staff union.  A news release sent Friday afternoon announced District 202 will explore outsourcing custodial services to “more effectively manage its finances in light of the state’s unpredictable and inadequate” funding of public education. … “The news that the school district will consider outsourcing came as a complete shock to the 148 talented, dedicated and very concerned custodians in the school district,” according to a statement attributed to PASS President John Piechocinski distributed Friday afternoon. The PASS statement also said replacing “not-for-profit school district employees with a for-profit company” will jeopardize safety, cleanliness and security in schools. … The district tentatively plans to solicit bids for custodial services on or about March 8 and the board would publicly review and consider bids at its April 11 meeting, according to the district’s news release.

FPS trustees vote for custodial privatization, tentative transportation agreement

Source: Sherri Kolade, C and G News, May 9, 2016

Farmington Public Schools trustees voted 5-1 to outsource their custodial staff for a projected savings of $1.4 million annually, according to a school letter sent out to community members. They also voted to approve a tentative agreement with transportation union members on health care provisions 5-1 — if all bargaining units don’t agree on the terms, school officials will discuss the next step at the following school board meeting. … During a Jan. 26 school board meeting, the trustees unanimously voted to receive requests for proposals from privatized transportation and custodial service companies. FPS officials have had discussions with both bargaining units, the Custodial/Maintenance/Cafeteria Association and the Farmington Transportation Association, about the decision to potentially subcontract since then. Lori Tunick, executive director of the Farmington Michigan Education Association, which oversees the transportation and custodial service unions in FPS, said there are about 65 custodians and roughly 70 bus drivers. …