Category Archives: Custodial

Outsource option gets brush-off from TUSD

Source: Alexis Huicochea, Arizona Daily Star, March 13, 2013

Despite facing a $17 million district budget deficit, the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board voted Tuesday night against exploring the possibility of outsourcing various functions. Instead, the board will consider recommendations that have been made by employee groups and administrators to cut costs….

…While it is unclear exactly which recommendations will be negotiated, the teachers union submitted numerous options including suspension of a personal day for all employees for one year and using certified staff workers and administrators as substitute teachers two to five days a year. The employee group representing blue-collar workers suggested that a cost savings can be produced by having it leverage health insurance and life insurance for its members. This is the second time the Governing Board has considered outsourcing. In January, the board gave the district the green light to investigate advantages of outsourcing in operations, custodians, ground maintenance, transportation, human resources, payroll, benefits and technology operations. That was approved 3-2 with Juarez, Stegeman and Hicks voting yes. Grijalva and Foster voted no….
Outsourcing is out: TUSD won’t replace workers with contractors to balance budget
Source: Craig Smith, KGUN9-TV, March 13, 2013

TUSD board throws out idea of outsourcing jobs
Source: Sean Mooney, KVOA-TV, March 13, 2013

Contracting out bill stifles good employee ideas, WFSE/AFSCME members tell Senate committee

Source: Tim Welch, Hotline, February 26, 2013

…The contracting out bill, Senate Bill 5717, would exempt the Department of Enterprise Services from the competitive contracting law, rules and negotiated contract provisions. And it mandates that the state consider privatizing custodial services, motor pool fleet management and real estate brokering services. The key attack in SB 5717 is taking away the ability of state employees to propose alternatives to contracting out and compete on an even playing field….

Lee school board considers outsourcing custodial jobs

Source: Brittany Shammas, Naples Daily News, February 17, 2013

The Lee County School District is considering outsourcing custodial jobs to trim its budget, a route that sparked months of controversy when taken by Collier County nearly five years ago…. District administrators estimate they could save $4 million annually in retirement contributions, health insurance coverage and other benefits by contracting a private company to handle custodians….

…In September 2008, the Collier board voted to outsource the work to CGA Services Group. The company hired 79 percent of the district’s 250 custodial employees, administrators said…. Outsourcing custodial jobs has come up in Lee County as recently as 2009, with school board members eventually dropping the idea. In 2003, the district contracted custodial services to ServiceMaster, but bought its way out after losing money on the deal….

Pine Grove accepting proposals from private contractors

Source: Mark Gilger Jr.,, February 13, 2013

The Pine Grove Area school board has requested proposals from private contractors for its support services as it negotiates with its collective bargaining unit…. The current contract with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees expires on June 30 and includes clerical, cleaning, aides, custodial and cafeteria staff. Transportation is the only service at the school contracted through a private company…

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. …