Category Archives: Custodial

Carlisle school district will pay out $140k to custodial workers

Source: Joseph Cress, The Sentinel, May 11, 2015

Carlisle Area School District will be paying up to $140,000 in longevity bonuses and severance compensation to 28 full-time employees affected by the outsourcing of custodial services to a private contractor. Carlisle Director of Finance Shawn Farr said the $140,000 will be taken out of the current year’s budget because the 28 workers will be out of a job on June 5 – which falls within the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Though not included in the current budget, the transition plan for custodial workers could be funded by leftover money that would normally be carried into reserves, Farr said. … Under the plan, each custodial worker will receive a longevity bonus of $75 for each full school year they have been employed by the district. The district will also compensate each worker for half of the accumulated sick leave up to 50 days, plus accumulated personal days and vacation time multiplied by the per diem rate. … In recent years, the district has been replacing custodians who retire or resign with workers employed by Walker’s Maintenance of Camp Hill and Springer Commercial Cleaning of Carlisle. …

Glen Rock school district reaches agreement with outsourcing company

Source: Glen Rock Gazette, May 1, 2015

Aramark Management Services will continue as the Glen Rock school district’s outsourcing provider of custodial services for at least the next two years. A new contract with the company was unanimously approved by the Board of Education at its April 27 public meeting. It calls for a payment of $1,499,363 to the company for custodial and management services in 2015-16, and $1,514,356 the following year.The pact also includes three, one-year extensions at the district’s option. Under the new agreement, Aramark will provide all district custodians, with the positions of the remaining four head custodians compensated directly by the district to be eliminated at the end of this term. All other workers had been supplied by Aramark since 2011. ….

Filthy hospital ward ‘cleaned’ by private firm fuels fears Tory privatisation putting public at risk

Source: Dan Warburton, Mirror, April 28, 2015

A state-of-the art hospital has ordered an urgent probe after the Mirror uncovered shocking ­failings by the private firm in charge of keeping it clean. G4S vowed to “rectify the issues” after we showed bosses photos of bags of potentially infectious ­clinical waste strewn across the wards. The damning evidence, given to us by a whistleblower, emerged days after the security giant was handed a lucrative new contract to ­maintain and clean Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Herts. An appalled insider said: “This level of dirt puts the public at risk. Would you want your family going in to a hospital like this and receiving treatment?” The images will fuel fears privatisation of NHS services by the Tory-led government is putting public safety at risk…. G4S won a second contract for cleaning at the Lister Hospital earlier this month but sparked anger by restructuring workers’ pay. In a letter to staff in February, the firm warned cleaners it had to alter hourly rates due to brutal Tory NHS cuts. ….

overflowing trash

CVC Workers Allege Retaliation After Strike

Source: Bridget Bowman, Roll Call, Hill Blotter blog, April 28, 2015

Two Capitol Visitor Center contract workers have filed an unfair labor practice complaint against their employer for allegedly retaliating against employees who participated in a strike last week. “When I went into work on Thursday I was being harassed,” CVC cashier Kellie Duckett, 30, said in a Tuesday phone interview. “[The manager] cut my hours, she cut me and a co-worker’s hours, she was just pretty much following me around Thursday. And Friday is when she took me in her office and she threatened my job.” On April 24, the advocacy group Good Jobs Nation filed the complaint to the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of Duckett and fellow CVC cafeteria worker Tracy Allen. The complaint is filed against Restaurant Associates, which employes the food service contract workers in the Capitol complex.
Duckett and Allen were among the 13 CVC workers who participated in an April 22 strike and rally at the Capitol, along with 23 Senate workers. They said their manager began retaliating against them when they returned to work the next day. But the company said any retaliation is not allowed….
Dem leaders want Senate food workers to make $15 an hour
Source: Alexander Bolton, The Hill, April 28, 2015

Democratic leaders are calling for Senate restaurant workers to get paid $15 an hour, after media outlets reported that one food-service employee is homeless. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is next in line to become Senate Democratic leader, said he and his colleagues have spoken to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) about raising wages for Senate food workers. Schumer said Tuesday he supports paying workers $15 an hour.

Food workers, janitors walk out on U.S. Senate
Source: John Verhovek and Dana Bash, CNN, April 22, 2015

About 40 contracted workers from the United States Senate walked off their jobs Wednesday morning and joined more than 1,000 labor activists at a rally calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to require federal contractors to pay their workers more. The Senate workers — employed at the upper chamber’s cafeteria, on janitorial duty and in other food service jobs — along with other federal contracted employees, are calling on the President to sign a “Model Employer Executive Order” that would give federal contracting preferences to companies that can pay their workers $15 an hour….Compass Group, a British-based catering company, confirmed that their subsidiary — New York based Restaurant Associates — contracts workers for the Senate cafeteria, but would not comment on the actions or demands of Olotara and other employees….

Senate Restaurant Staff Rebel Against Benefits Freeze
Source: Warren Rojas, Roll Call, Heard on the Hill blog, March 10, 2015

The 30 or so remaining dining services personnel who got swept up in the transfer of power from the Architect of the Capitol to Restaurant Associates in 2008 may now need pols to rectify unforeseen circumstances that have soured the entire experience for them. The fight for parity has been brewing ever since Norma Rogers — who told HOH she’ll have logged 33 years working on Capitol Hill come April — began investigating how her retirement package might shake out. Much to her dismay, Rogers discovered that as far as federal actuaries are concerned, she stopped being a government employee as soon as the catering services swap got inked into law. … Per the supervisor, the dramatic changes, including an ineligibility for overtime pay and disqualification from employer-sponsored life insurance coverage — the source said RA insists those benefits are tied to AOC; The Architect’s office maintains RA should shoulder the burden — were not part of the agreement presented to those who elected to stay put in the congressional dining halls. ….

Striking custodial workers at most Stafford County schools plan to continue protest Tuesday

Source: Cathy Jett, Free Lance-Star, April 27, 2015

Employees of the company providing janitorial services for most of Stafford County’s schools plan to continue striking on Tuesday. About 50 first showed up at 7 a.m. Monday to wave signs outside GCA Services Group’s office in the Stafford County Public Schools Facilities Operations and Maintenance Facility at 25 Wyatt Lane in Stafford…. The employees, many of whom have worked for GCA as long as seven years, said they’ve never gotten a raise to their $8 an hour salary. That’s 75 cents above minimum wage in Virginia. … According to her, Santos said that management wanted to evaluate each employee’s work record individually, and some would get raises and some would not. He added that at this time they would not consider the strikers’ other concerns. These include lack of paid sick leave, insurance and other benefits….

Chicago school cleaning contract millions over budget /Aramark has so far billed Chicago Public Schools $86 million for what was supposed to cost $64 million

Source: Becky Vevea, WBEZ, April 27, 2015

The promise of cleaner schools at a lower price has turned out to be just that — a promise. Chicago Public Schools’ three-year contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark to manage all school cleaning services is $22 million over budget, according to procurement and finance records obtained by WBEZ. Aramark has billed Chicago Public Schools $86 million for the first 11 months of its three-year contract. The first year price tag was initially set at $64 million….

CPS group rips ‘Magic’ custodian deal, contributions to Emanuel campaign
Source: Juan Perez Jr. and Cynthia Dizikes Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2015

The head of a Chicago Public Schools principals’ group again condemned privatized school custodian contracts Thursday, including an $80 million deal connected to NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, another of whose firms has since donated $250,000 to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign…. Principals and teachers have long complained about school cleanliness since the Emanuel-appointed school board overhauled how schools are cleaned with $340 million in custodial contracts awarded to the Aramark and SodexoMAGIC firms. SodexoMAGIC, one of Johnson’s companies, received an $80 million contract last year to conduct a trial program to take over custodial and facilities management services for a select group of CPS buildings. The administration said they’ve told the company to fix the problems….

Rahm to Aramark: Clean up the schools or clean out your desks
Source: Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, September 16, 2014

Responding to reports of filthy conditions inside Chicago Public Schools after privatizing janitorial management, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Aramark could “clean out the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out.”… Emanuel said Board President David Vitale has been in contact with the private management firm. Vitale and other board members had voted earlier this year to give Aramark a $260 million contract to manage the district’s custodians and cleaning supplies. …

Schools CEO: privatizing janitorial services not ‘as smooth as we would like’
Source: Becky Vevea, WBEZ, September 15, 2014

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett admitted Monday that turning over management of school janitors to two private companies hasn’t been going very well. …. But so far, the outsourcing seems to have led to dirty schools, property damage, poor communication and janitors being laid off. Those complaints came to light in a survey of more than 230 principals conducted by the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education, or AAPPLE, a member-driven arm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. …

Chicago Public Schools contractor to lay off 476 custodians
Source: Lauren Fitzpatrick And Matt McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times, September 14, 2014

The move to lay off nearly 500 privately contracted custodial workers who clean Chicago Public Schools will make it harder to keep classrooms tidy, the union representing the custodians said Sunday…. The Sun-Times reported Saturday that 476 custodians who clean Chicago Public Schools will lose their jobs at the end of the month…. The cuts come after CPS officials agreed to a $260 million contract in March with the firm Aramark, which used subcontractors to employ the custodial workers, CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said Saturday. CPS principals have complained about school cleanliness since the district privatized the janitorial services, according to a survey by AAPPLE, a new activist group under the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association….

Union’s complaint against Norwalk school’s custodial outsourcing recommended for dismissal

Source: Nancy Chapman,, April 16, 2015

…The expected dismissal of the Municipal Prohibited Practices (MPP) complaint will be appealed, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman said. “We respectfully disagree with the recommendation of the Labor Board,” Dorman said. “Specifically, we feel that, contrary to their statements, the Norwalk Board of Education is in fact trying to destabilize and ultimately eliminate the union representing Norwalk’s school custodians. So we fully intend to go forward.” The complaint filed on Sept. 9 alleged that the BoE violated the Municipal Employee Relations Act (Act) by taking actions over the prior six months “…. to eliminate employees and positions within Local 1042 due to their unionized status, with the goal to eliminate the union entirely.”…

School board approves custodian outsourcing for Columbus, Jefferson
Source: Korey Wilson, Hour, August 20, 2014

Despite resistance from school district custodians, the Norwalk Board of Education voted in favor of a contract that would outsource custodial services at Columbus Magnet and Jefferson Science Magnet this coming school year. With a vote of 4-3, the school board authorized Norwalk Public Schools to enter into an agreement with custodial service provider, United Services of America. The move will fill seven custodian vacancies throughout the school district and is expected to save more than $182,000….

Local 1042 members say custodian outsourcing not good for school community
Source: Korey Wilson, Hour, August 5, 2014

In response to the school district’s plans to outsource custodian services at two schools, representatives of the custodians’ union are planning to attend Tuesday’s Board of Education’s meeting Tuesday to voice their concerns. While Norwalk Public Schools is currently considering recent bids to outsource cleaning services, full-time custodians say the school district will lose a critical part of the school community in their attempt to save money. Members of Local 1042 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees say they provide more duties to the school district than their job titles of custodians, security guards and maintenance workers would suggest. … The school district is looking to fill seven custodian vacancies throughout the district by outsourcing cleaning duties to an outside agency. The school district recently held a walkthrough for 15 companies interested in the contract. Nine of those companies submitted bids for the contract, according to school officials. Three union representatives came to observe the school tour on July 16 but were asked to leave. Beginning next school year, some custodians will be reshuffled to new schools and an outside agency will handle all custodial duties at Columbus Magnet and Jefferson Science Magnet schools. …

Detroit water department lays off all building maintenance workers

Source: James Brewer, World Socialist Web Site, April 7, 2015

In an unpublicized move, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is laying off 35 building maintenance workers and replacing them with commercially contracted janitorial services. A notification dated March 23 was sent to DWSD employees informing workers of the change, effective Monday, April 6, 2015. …The DWSD has been preparing the transition to the newly created Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) since early 2014 under what it calls its “Optimization Plan.” When the new entity comes into effect in July of this year, most of the employees of the DWSD will become GLWA employees and will be handed over to a new local union, which has already signed a five-year contract with the GLWA. Last year, all DWSD employees were instructed to reapply for their own jobs in preparation for the reorganization of the department. The creation of the GLWA was a product of the forced bankruptcy of Detroit as part of an effort to monetize this extremely valuable asset of the city and move toward its transformation into a profit-making operation. The creation of the GLWA was part of an end run around the Detroit City Charter, which had contained certain safeguards against the privatization of the water department….

Custodian sues Troy School District after injuring hand in snow blower

Source: Dave Phillips, Oakland Press, April 3, 2015

A Troy School District employee is suing the district after catching her hand in a snow blower, causing permanent damage. Mary Jane Ballard filed the suit last month against the district, unidentified school district employees and Enviro Clean Services. …. Ballard attempted to use a Honda snowblower but the right auger clutch failed to disengage. While clearing snow around 5 a.m., “the snow blower almost severed the fingers of … Ballard’s right hand and caused severe and permanent injury and pain and suffering to (her) right hand and fingers,” the lawsuit states. The suit accuses Ballard’s employer, Enviro Clean Services, of failing to train her on how to safely use the snow blower. The company and/or the school district knew that the snow blower needed to be repaired, the lawsuit states. It was repaired after Ballard was injured….

2014 Michigan School Privatization Survey

Source: James M. Hohman and Zachary Woodman, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, ISBN: 978-1-890624-37-8, 2014

From the summary:
The growth of school support service privatization has slowed. The 2014 survey shows that the percentage of school districts that contract out for food, custodial or transportation services increased just 0.4 percentage points, the smallest growth recorded since the survey began. Each service, however, increased and satisfaction with contracting remains high.

2014 Survey Results
Food Service
Custodial Services
Appendix A: Revisions to Previous Publications
Appendix B: Map of Survey Findings by School District