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….
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…..
….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….
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……
…. About 300 janitorial jobs at the [O’Hare] airport were privatized in 2005 under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. But workers said they were happy with the contractor who employed them, the company Scrub Inc., in large part because the union had successfully fought for wages of $15.45 an hour and solid benefits. After Scrub’s contract expired, the city accepted a bid from a different employer, United Maintenance Company, which has announced it will pay $11.90 an hour, likely without health insurance or other benefits, according to the union. And the workers likely will lose union representation, as the company isn’t bound by a contract with SEIU. Current workers might not be rehired at all….
Union fights to keep O’Hare janitor jobs
Source: Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune, July 04, 2012
City has $99 million bid from firm that labor leaders say would hire new workforce at lower wages…The current contract for custodial services at O’Hare, with a company called Scrub Inc., expired June 30, and City Hall’s decision on a new contract could come at any time…. SEIU said Scrub has been paying workers according to prevailing rates that begin at $12.05 an hour and top out at $15.45 an hour for those with five years or more of seniority. City records show that Chicago-based United Maintenance Company Inc. underbid Scrub by more than $11 million for the new five-year contract and also came in below eight other bidders that are signatories to SEIU’s master agreement with janitorial companies….
The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is planning a major offensive against efforts to privatize municipal departments across the state, and Pawtucket is expected to be the launching point…According to Venice, state union leaders currently see the threat to unions in Rhode Island as being the greatest in Pawtucket, where Mayor Don Grebien is in the process of negotiating with a private company to take over trash services.There is also a preliminary proposal from food service provider Sodexo to assume control of school custodial and maintenance services….
Eliminating pensions for public school workers and transitioning employees to 401(k)-style savings plans like most private sector workers get in retirement could cost taxpayers $18.1 billion over the next 30 years. That’s the conclusion of a report recently sent to lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration detailing the short- and long-term costs associated with ending a hybrid pension-401(k) plan and moving the public school work force to strictly defined contribution plans….
…The study concludes the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System’s financial troubles are due, in part, to an increase in retirees and fewer workers to pay for their benefits — a problem exacerbated by widespread privatization of noninstructional services such as custodians, food service, busing and administration and charter schools that offer employees guaranteed pensions….
Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System Public Act 300 of 2012 Study
Source: Segal Group, November 15, 2012
The privatization train is picking up steam in Pawtucket, where union workers are desperately seeking ways to derail it. The latest proposal is for privatizing custodial and maintenance departments in Pawtucket schools. According to Superintendent Deborah Cylke, the schools’ food service provider, Sodexo, has offered to provide the services at a reduced cost to the district.
Contractors want to satisfy their clients’ requests and, unaware of the option to subcontract, some take on projects beyond their scope of expertise.
The Columbia Board of Education last night rejected a proposal to outsource maintenance staff at Battle High School after hearing concerns from Columbia Public Schools janitors.
Administrators first asked the board to consider outsourcing to GCA Education Services, based in Knoxville, Tenn., at a meeting last month. The proposal was sent back to the administration after some board members voiced concerns about pay and benefits. A revised proposal, with increased pay and benefits, went to the board last night, but members agreed it still wasn’t up to snuff. The measure was defeated 6-1, with Tom Rose casting the only vote in support of outsourcing.
In the initial proposal, pay from GCA started at $8.50 for custodians and topped out at $13.50 for hourly supervisors. District pay ranges from $9.15 to $16.05. A revised proposal changed the GCA pay range to $9.15 to $14.50. Employees for GCA also would have 20 fewer sick days or paid holidays.