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.
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