Category Archives: Custodial

City school custodians outsourced; jobs offered at contracted company

Source: Kara Newhouse ∙ Lancaster Online ∙ November 18, 2014

School District of Lancaster custodians will keep their current wages if they move to an contracted company, according to district officials. The school board voted Tuesday night to outsource 94 custodial and grounds positions to GCA Services Group, of Ohio. The $9.7 million contract begins Jan. 1, 2015 and ends June 30, 2016. ….The savings primarily come from the elimination of the pension costs. Support staff at public schools in Pennsylvania get retirement benefits through the Public School Employee Retirement System. ….
Related:
SDL custodians in limbo amid outsourcing negotiations
Source: Kara Newhouse, Lancaster Online, October 20, 2014

In June, the SDL board approved a 2014-15 budget that relies on $500,000 in savings from outsourcing 94 custodial and grounds crew members. It was one of several measures taken to fill a $7.7-million deficit. But two months into the school year, the board still hasn’t approved an outsourcing contract — leaving workers in employment limbo. … To move forward with outsourcing, the district must prove that it would save money and provide the same or higher level of service, said Michael Fox, a representative of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which represents SDL support staff.

DMC workers protest hospital’s plan to outsource job

Source: Holly Fournier, The Detroit News 11:28 a.m. EDT October 27, 2014

About 70 employees of the Detroit Medical Center’s environmental services department rallied Monday to protest the hospital’s plan to outsource housekeeping jobs to a company called Sodexo.

Their protest came moments before a 3-hour hearing Monday in Detroit’s federal court to address the hospital’s plan. The hearing continues with oral arguments Wednesday morning.

DMC files to make 565 custodial layoffs official
Source: Lauren Abdel-Razzaq, The Detroit News 4:27 p.m. EDT October 10, 2014

The Detroit Medical Center has formally announced plans to permanently lay off 565 custodial employees when it switches vendors in December. The hospital group filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state on Oct. 1, saying it plans to transfer housekeeping services at area hospitals to a new vendor “in order to maintain efficient and reliable hospital operations.”

Union sues DMC, claims bargaining violation
Source: Lauren Abdel-Razzaq, Detroit News, October 1, 2014

A local labor union has sued the Detroit Medical Center and its affiliates for what they claim is a violation of collective bargaining agreement rights when they announced plans to contract out custodial services. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court on behalf of about 300 employees in the Council 25 locals 140, 180 and 3695. The lawsuit alleges that the DMC intends to get around having to bargain with the union and is asking a judge to stop them from contracting with the third party custodial service company. “They want to send this stuff out to a third party and under our collective bargaining agreement it is binding on successors,” said Bruce Miller of the Miller Cohen law firm, which handles litigation for AFSCME. “We have to take action before the agreement is made.”…

Opinion: DOT’s math on privatization adds up to ‘no deal’

Source: Ledger-Enquirer, September 22, 2014

….This much is unarguable: If “privatizing,” as the term has been coined, costs more than the government function cost taxpayers in the first place, then it’s a bad idea no matter what function we’re talking about. That, apparently, is the case with the Georgia Department of Transportation — or rather, would have been the case if a DOT committee hadn’t done its homework. The department was considering a contract for janitorial and other services at highway welcome centers and rest areas. The DOT sent out a request for proposals, and received two bids, one for $37.7 million and the other for $36.5 million. Except that, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Transportation Board’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Committee determined that the DOT could employ people to do the same work for $27.8 million….

Janitorial firm fined for wage gaffe

Source: Katie Johnston, Boston Globe, September 17, 2014

An East Boston janitorial company has been ordered by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to pay more than $750,000 for unlawfully deducting wages from workers’ paychecks at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority facilities in Boston. Between March 2012 and September 2013, Star Service Corp., a subcontractor of janitorial provider ABM, took more than $959,000 out of 160 workers’ checks for health, pension, and welfare fund benefits but never contributed to the funds, according to the attorney general’s investigation. Under state law, cleaning and maintenance workers at buildings owned or rented by the Commonwealth can receive wages that include pension and health fund deductions, but if no payments are made to those funds, the money must go to the worker. …

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. …
Related:
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….

These vendors take in hundreds of millions of dollars serving Massachusetts colleges and universities

Source: Mary Moore, Boston Business Journal, September 12, 2014

They seldom get the headlines of a Harvard University or a Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but hundreds of companies in Massachusetts support higher education institutions across the state under contracts that total in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. The Boston Business Journal reviewed the money spent in the 2013 fiscal year on independent contractors by more than two dozen colleges and universities in Greater Boston – the most expensive contracts at each school — and found a total of more than $709 million. That doesn’t count several dozen additional nonprofit colleges or universities and hundreds if not thousands of smaller contracts at each institution. Four of the biggest contracts were at Harvard University. Three of those, totaling $164 million, went to construction companies and one, for $40 million, went to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a research subcontract….

…With contracts totaling $16 million, Aramark, a food service provider, was one of the most prevalent vendors among local colleges and universities, with contracts at Simmons College, Wheaton College, Regis College, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Berklee College of Music and Stonehill College. Looking forward, construction companies and related functions, such as architects, will continue to score the biggest vendor contracts at colleges and universities, said Jim Murtha, chairman and CEO of Maguire Associates, a higher education consulting company in Concord. Construction is the type of big-ticket function that most higher education institutions cannot bring in-house, he said. Yet, new types of pricey contracts are starting to evolve – for one, outsourced facilities management services, Murtha said. Those contracts include everything from janitorial services to painting lines on a ball field. Smaller colleges, in particular, are finding it less expensive to outsource all of these functions to one vendor, rather than running part of it in-house – janitorial services, for example – and signing smaller contracts with different service providers to fill the gaps….

FM Pulse and Salary Survey

Source: Facilities Management, September 2014

… Part 2: In-house Or Outsource? Facility Departments Evaluate Staffing Balance

…At Western Michigan, tough economic times led to fresh thinking that included staffing modifications. “Some levels of outsourcing were implemented. Lower skilled jobs that had higher wages or specialty and expensive equipment tasks — such as snow plowing — were typical in-house job functions that were reviewed,” says Strazdas. “In a collective bargaining environment, both sides of the table came closer to find solutions to lower costs and improve service.”…

….Today, if an IFC [International Finance Corporation] employee leaves, and the outsourced management team can do those duties just as effectively, then the company doesn’t replace that person; instead, it adds those responsibilities to the outsourcing assignment. ….

… Part 6: Survey: Facility Management Outsourcing, Retirement, Satisfaction Results

This year, your company’s use of outsourcing: %
Decreased ————————————- 8
Increased ———————————— 19
Stayed about the same ———————— 73

Next year, your company’s use of outsourcing will probably: %
Decrease —————————————————- 9
Increase —————————————————- 16
Stay about the same —————————————— 75

Editorial: To hold line on taxes, cuts must be made

Source: Daily Gazette, August 28, 2014

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t demand that government control your taxes and at the same time fight every sensible attempt to reduce government spending. Such is the case in Glenville, where the town has the opportunity to save taxpayers nearly $450,000 by hiring a private firm to clean town buildings and by not having a person in the police station lobby greeting people around the clock. The town has proposed replacing two retiring town employees with a private cleaning company, potentially saving town taxpayers nearly $100,000 a year in salaries and benefits. No one is getting fired or laid off. The positions are becoming vacant, and the town has found a cheaper way to replace them with a professional service. Yet the regional CSEA president and unionized town workers are objecting, even suggesting that the private company cleaners will steal employees’ stuff at night.

Protesters demonstrate at regents meeting against privatizing UW-Superior custodial work

Source: Milwaukee Business Journal, August 22, 2014

Union members picketed the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents in Oshkosh to oppose UW-Superior’s proposal to hire a private company to handle custodial and grounds-keeping services. The university issued a competitive request for proposals for a contract to perform those services starting in December. Current UW-Superior employees must be considered for jobs a company will create under the contract….
Related:
Protesters demonstrate at regents meeting
Source: Noell Dickmann, Northwestern Media, August 21, 2014

Union members picketed outside a UW System Board of Regents meeting Thursday in Oshkosh, speaking out against a proposal to privatize custodial and grounds-keeping services at UW Superior. Paulette Feld, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 24 and a IT network specialist at UW-Oshkosh, said members are opposed to outsourcing union jobs to private companies…. Earlier, regents unanimously approved a request asking Gov. Scott Walker for $95 million in additional tax dollars in the state’s next two-year budget agencies despite the governor telling agencies to not expect any additional tax dollars in his 2015-17 budget….

UWS Employees March Against Job Outsourcing
Source: WDIO.com, July 26, 2014

Over 100 people are marching in solidarity with UWS custodians and ground crew members on Saturday to protest the university’s consideration of a plan to outsource the jobs to private companies. … The university is considering cutting 28 jobs to help make up a $4.5 million deficit, however, 18-year UWS employee Glen Kahalar questions recent choices made by the administrators. …. . Many members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union joined the UWS workers on Saturday.

AFSCME labor union backs UWS custodial workers over threat of outsourcing
Source: NNCNow, July 27, 2014

UWS crews protest job outsourcing
Source: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram, June 10, 2014

….The university is evaluating options as it seeks to identify $4.5 million in cuts and revenue growth over the next five years, said Lynne Williams, UWS spokeswoman. About $2 million of that has to be found within two years. … The university has made no decision on the custodians and grounds crew yet, Williams said. Sending the proposal out for bid will take at least six weeks, and that process has not started yet. The proposals would be evaluated to determine if it would be feasible to outsource some or all of the work. There is no timeline on the decision, but the current contracts for custodial and grounds staff end this summer…..

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….
Related:
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. …