Category Archives: Custodial

The Working Unemployed: Custodial Staff Not Told Before Outsourcing Vote

Source: Keith Brown,, March 16, 2011

District voted last week to outsource custodial services without telling custodians, union presidents says.

The Board of Education on March 8 voted 8-1 to introduce a tentative budget that at least temporarily shelved a plan to shutter West Belmar School, but opted to privatize custodial services. The move is expected to save the district close to $1 million. Board member Laurie Cannon cast the only vote against….Habel has said the $65 million spending plan is malleable and could be changed up to the March 29 public presentation….

Bedford school custodians targeted for cuts by state audit

Source:, February 28, 2011

An audit by the state comptroller recommends that the Bedford Central School District could save $712,000 by cutting custodial staff and reducing overtime hours by using part-time workers and stricter controls. … As for the $712,000 savings, Betz said it’s not possible to cut the amount of staff suggested because the custodians have many other duties besides cleaning schools.

Opinion – Privatizing school maintenance will hurt services

Source: John Brazee, Jackson Sun, Voices and Views, February 23, 2011

The Jackson-Madison County school system is about to be lured into more privatization by hiring an outside maintenance company to save money. But it’s really being used as a smokescreen for reducing the quality and level of services. Private, for-profit companies making a profit on public tax dollars generally do it by reducing services. How anyone can think that they will get the same service, save money and allow a company to turn a profit is just amazing

Union says it will fight Sodexo’s deal to take over DPS building services

Source: Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Detroit Free Press, January 28, 2011

Union and school officials expect to square off in court over the Detroit Public Schools’ plan to privatize facilities operations starting next month, to save $75 million over five years.

Robert Bobb, DPS emergency financial manager, announced Thursday that the outsourcing will mean 699 employees will have to seek jobs with companies taking over custodial, engineering, maintenance, repair and grounds services Feb. 21.

Also at issue is that the $43.9-million, five-year contract is with Sodexo Inc., a multinational company that Human Rights Watch and other groups accused of human rights violations and union busting.

Sodexo paid $80 million in 2005 to settle a class action by African-American workers over claims they were denied promotions and segregated within Sodexo. And last July it agreed to pay $20 million to settle accusations by the New York Attorney General’s Office that it overcharged schools for food services….

…Under the contract, which DPS did not release, 45% of the facilities work will go to seven subcontractors, including five Detroit minority-owned businesses: Powerlink Facilities Management, Payne Landscaping, Hercules & Hercules, Rickman Enterprise Group and White Glove Professional Cleaning. The others are Covenant Cleaning Building Maintenance Services of Saline and Midwest Environmental Services Group of Chicago….

…Since last year, Bobb has privatized 226 security officer jobs and 345 transportation jobs.
See also:
Bobb says he’ll outsource 823 maintenance jobs to save $75M
Source: Jennifer Chambers and Catherine Jun, The Detroit News, January 27. 2011 10:47PM
Unions check Bobb’s math
Source: Zenobia Jeffries, Michigan Citizen, February 14, 2011

Ramsey school board OKs exploration of privatizing custodial services

Source: Barbara Boucicaut, Suburban News, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ramsey – School board trustees on Tuesday, Jan. 25, unanimously approved a motion to begin investigating outsourcing options for the district’s custodial and management services….Nunziata said if the district decides to privatize custodial services, it could save about $1 million over the next two years. School officials said they reached out to the same outsourcing consultant the Ridgewood school district used in privatizing its custodial services and said the firm came highly recommended.

Voices for Change: Sodexo Workers From Five Countries Speak Out

Source: TransAfrica Forum, January 2011

From the summary:
TransAfrica Forum’s Sodexo report is the result of months ofin-country interviews with Sodexo workers, union leaders, environmental and community activists. It tells the story of workers who are trapped in poverty by a powerful global company–and then in these cases harassed, threatened and fired when they speak up for their rights. Workers in five countries told TransAfrica’s researchers chilling stories: in one country of forced pregnancy tests, elsewhere spoke of food poisoning due to being forced to eat rancid food, and in yet another country workers talked about preventable injuries caused by inadequate training and lack of proper protective gear. Rightfully, many of the Sodexo workers refuse to be silenced.

NHPS Superintendent concerned with walk-out

Source:, January 20, 2011

NEW HAVEN, CT – During an arbitration hearing regarding the contract of New Haven Public Schools’ custodians AFSCME Local 287, led by Union arbitration panelist Kevin Murphy, conducted a walk-out of all union members in the room in direct response to the participation a witness for the Board of Education at the hearing.

The witness was a representative from GCA, a respondent to the City’s request for proposals for sub-contracting custodial services in the District’s school buildings. The witness provided testimony at today’s hearing to demonstrate how the firm will save taxpayers $7 million in custodial services annually. The Union objected to their presence but the panel ruled in favor of allowing GCA to remain and testify.
Privatization avoided in New Haven school custodians contract, but jobs cut (document)
Source: Abbe Smith, New Haven Register, December 01, 2011

Woodhaven: School district will not privatize bus service

Source: Jackie Harrison-Martin, News Herald, Saturday, January 08, 2011

The school district will not move forward with plans to bring in a private company to take over its bus service. First Student, an Ohio-based company, was expected to start transporting students when they returned from the holiday break last week. School Supt. Barbara Lott said although the custodial and maintenance staffs were privatized in October, the move to outsource the bus service is not going to be made after all. Along with the district’s custodial and maintenance services, the transportation director and dispatcher also are outsourced jobs.
WOODHAVEN: Privatization ruling leaves school transportation employees jobless
Source: Jackie Harrison-Martin, Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scranton officials question cleaning company’s work

Source: Josh Mrozinski, Scranton Times Tribune, December 15, 2010

A Wilkes-Barre company is failing to fulfill the terms of a janitorial contract for Scranton’s government buildings, city officials say….In 2009, Jan Pro was one of four companies that responded to the city’s request for proposals. It offered the lowest bid at $84,760.60 for a two-year contract. The other companies offered prices to clean City Hall and the police department station that ranged from $98,000 to $142,378. The contract ends Dec. 31, 2011….In a letter sent to city solicitor Paul Kelly, Jr., City Controller Roseann Novembrino said there have been numerous concerns since the contract began with Jan Pro, including the company not refilling soap in bathrooms in City Hall as is required in the contract. City officials say the company is also failing to do other activities, such as not cleaning the floor and door windows and not refilling toilet paper….Police Chief Dan Duffy said he’s not satisfied with Jan Pro’s services, and has been emptying garbage cans himself because of the company’s service issues.