Category Archives: Custodial

Wisconsin: State could sue cleaning couple over Capitol damage

Source: Associated Press, February 11, 2013

…Workers for Peterson Cleaning Inc. of Rockford, Ill., stained about 100 marble stones in August before the work was halted, said Paula Veltum, an official in the Department of Administration’s facilities management division. Veltum told a meeting of the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board that chemical testing of milky white markings on the stone suggested battery acid had leaked from a Peterson cleaning machine. State workers began polishing the stained marble, most of it on the ground floor near the Rotunda, last week. It’s expected to take up to two months to restore, at an estimated cost of more than $16,000.

Cleaning company fired after allegedly damaging or staining marble floors in state Capitol
Source: Wisconsin State Journal, December 22, 2012

State officials have fired a cleaning company they believe may have damaged or stained marble floors in the Capitol, said Wisconsin Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis. The damage appears to have occurred when a cleaning solution or other liquid leaked from a floor-scrubbing machine operated by the contractor, Marquis said. The department has brought in a new contractor.

Wisconsin Capitol contractor fired for staining marble
Source: Associated Press, December 23, 2012

…A message left with the department over the weekend seeking the name of the contractor was not immediately returned….

Lincoln University cuts hours, outsources jobs

Source: Chris Barber, Journal Register, February 4, 2013

In a written statement, Jennings said that the university has suffered the effects of a declining enrollment with decreased income….He also said that in January 2012 the state rescinded $558,000 in funding due to a shortfall in revenues.

Jennings said he has cut departmental budgets and reduced non-essential spending, but that more cuts were necessary to save jobs, maintain a balanced budget and continue to offer a high level of instruction. …

The housekeeping, maintenance and grounds department currently employing about 70 workers will be outsourced. That will happen in April or early May. Jennings said preferential treatment will be given to the employees by the agency that wins the bid….

DCF privatized housekeeping contract began Tuesday / Contract signed at Northeast Hospital

Source: Arek Sarkissian II,, January 22, 2013

The Northeast State Hospital began a $3.7-million contract on Tuesday with a Connecticut company that will provide housekeeping services. … The facility is operated by the Florida Department of Children and Families and signed the contract with Owens, Renz and Lee, Co. Inc., which will expire in January 2017. DCF also entered into a much larger $42-million contract last year with Aramark to provide housekeeping services at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. Data provided by DCF show that privatization effort affected 191 employees….

2 join Mt. Pleasant board; cleaning deal to be bid

Source: Mark Ranzenberger, Morning Sun, January 8, 2013

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools will likely ask for new bids from private building maintenance companies to perform custodial work in the district’s 10 buildings…. Grand Rapids Building Services, a large, regional provider of custodial services, took over the job of cleaning Mt. Pleasant schools three years ago. The contract for the work expires this year.

The company offered Mt. Pleasant Schools a $15,000 credit and a promise of no price increase for three years if the school district renewed it. But board members said they’d like to see the results of the bidding process.

Mary Murphy, the district’s director of facilities, said that in 2009, the school district employed 33.5 full-time equivalent employees in maintenance. Today, the department has 4.75 workers, who concentrate on snow removal, outside maintenance, preventive maintenance and repairs. The cleaning work is done by the contractor….

In Minneapolis, janitorial firm haunted by ‘ghost’ timecards

Source: Business Management, December 28, 2012

Minneapolis janitors working for Diversified Maintenance Systems (DMS) have received conditional class-action status in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit that alleges the company orchestrated a timecard switching scheme designed to avoid paying overtime. According to the complaint, the janitors were told to use their regular timecards until they worked 40 hours in a week. From then on, they were given “ghost” timecards, timecards with former employees’ names on them. The janitors were then allegedly paid cash for the “ghost” time. … DMS admits that the fraudulent practices occurred, but blames them on a rogue manager, who no longer works for the company and cannot be found. …

Toronto saves $800,000 from contracting-out building cleaning — far less than promised

Source: Paul Moloney Toronto Star, January 3, 2013

The amount Toronto taxpayers will save by contracting-out cleaning at police facilities will be less than a third of the original estimates. Instead of saving $2.5 million a year, budget papers indicate the annual savings will be only about $800,000. The city has pondered putting cleaning services out for contract for years, but council didn’t go along with the idea until last year, after Mayor Rob Ford was elected and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, vowed to outsource anything that wasn’t nailed down. … Under the Ford administration, garbage pick-up west of Yonge St. and TTC bus cleaning have also been outsourced.

The savings on the police contract fall “wildly short of the $2.5 million that was predicted,” said Councillor Pam McConnell, who opposed extending the contract. The $2.5-million figure was extrapolated from a private-sector quote in 2003 to clean four police buildings: police headquarters and three stations. … Councillors were told heavy-duty contract cleaners make $12.27 an hour and light-duty cleaners earn $10.59 hourly, while the city had been paying $23.83 and $22.60 an hour, respectively. …

County to ‘Privatize’ Janitorial Services at 15 Libraries

Source: Leon Worden, SCVNEWS.COM, January 3, 2013

County Librarian Margaret D. Todd is asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to approve an initial four-year contract with a janitorial firm for custodial services at 15 county libraries. Custodial services are currently performed by county employees who are members of the Service Employees International Union…..Janitorial services at the 15 libraries cost the county $323,824 per year when the work is performed by county employees. The annual contract cost with Diamond Contract Services is $257,890. Figures provided by Todd to the supervisors show that most of the cost differential $45,039 is in county employee benefits….

Frederick County schools could outsource some custodian duties / Move could save $483,000 annually

Source: Margarita Raycheva,, December 4, 2012

In effort to cut costs on grounds maintenance, Frederick County Public School officials are considering outsourcing some of the duties that are currently performed by school custodians. Based on a recent study, which explored ways to make the school system’s grounds maintenance more efficient, officials believe they may be able to cut costs by about 28.9 percent annually, or $483,000, if they use outside contractors instead of school custodians to mow and do landscaping around schools….

….The school system as a result hired a contractor, Facilities Engineering Associates of Fairfax, Va., to analyze the system’s existing grounds maintenance operations and determine possibilities for cost savings. Over the past few months, the company put together a report, considering various options for savings and efficiencies in grounds maintenance, which is currently performed by three different groups — an outside contractor, a central office-based grounds crew and school-based custodians. The report, which was presented to the school board on Nov. 28, found that the school system could save the most by contracting out only the grounds maintenance duties performed by school custodians. It also recommended that the school system do a pilot before implementing changes to current practices.The study also advised against outsourcing snow removal services that are now also handled by school custodians. According to the study, school-based custodians can respond to snowy conditions faster than contractors, preventing unnecessary school delays and closures…..

City lays off library custodians

Source: Fran Spielman, Stefano Esposito, Chicago Sun Times, November 30, 2012

….Fifty-four custodians charged with cleaning Chicago Public libraries are also getting their walking papers, effective Friday….The city is just now getting around to issuing pink slips because of a lengthy procurement process that culminated in awards to two companies expected to save the city $2.8 million-a-year: Triad Consulting Services and Dayspring Professional Janitorial Services, she said….

Custodians Express Outsourcing Concerns

Source: Megan Carthel, University Star, November 29, 2012

Some Texas State-employed custodians are questioning whether their shoes will be able to be filled by the new McLemore hires when the university eventually outsources all custodial positions. Texas State started the process of outsourcing its custodians last summer. The university entered a contract, effective June 1, with McLemore Building Maintenance, Inc. McLemore employees will fill the vacancies as university custodians retire or quit over time. Some university custodians do not feel the McLemore employees will be able to provide the same level of service Demanding hours and tasks, fewer benefits and a lack of pre-existing loyalty to Texas State could be some hurdles the outsourced employees will face, some custodians say….

….”Somehow (McLemore is) making money,” Graves said. I don’t know if they’re paying their employees less. I just know how many employees we counted, and we didn’t send that many employees.” One Texas State-employed custodian, who wished to remain anonymous, said he believes the university is outsourcing custodians to save money by not having to give benefits to such staff members in the future. As state employees, university custodians receive health insurance, a retirement program and 1.5 percent salary increases every two years, among other benefits. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said because McLemore is a private company, it does not have a benefits package as extensive as those provided by state entities……