Category Archives: Custodial

Court injunction puts privatization plans on hold

Source: By Jackie Harrison-Martin, News Herald (MI), Tuesday, August 24, 2010


WOODHAVEN — Custodians and maintenance workers are preparing buildings for the start of school now that a judge has blocked privatization of various services.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Sapala issued a permanent injunction July 28 against the school district’s plans to privatize those services and transportation.

….. About 60 transportation, custodial and maintenance workers are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.  First Student, based in Ohio, and GCA Services Group, based in Illinois, were set to come in and take over the duties of those employees.

Update 12/7/2010:
WOODHAVEN: Supt. Lott plans to ‘maintain the status quo’ with privatization ruling
Source: Jackie Harrison-Martin, News-Herald, Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sodexo fined for serious safety hazards

Source: Cleaning & Maintenance Management, Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ —  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for enforcing standards for workplace safety and health, has cited Sodexo for violations of nine separate safety hazards involving building cleaning and maintenance services that endangered workers and could have harmed students, according to a press release.

A supervisor within the South Plainfield School District alerted OSHA of these dangers, all of which were classified as “serious,” meaning there was a “substantial probability that death or serious injury could occur from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,” the release stated.

Board of Education privatizes bus drivers, custodians

Source: By Jackie Harrison-Martin, News Herald (MI) Tuesday, June 15, 2010

 “This is their worst fear, and this was our worst fear.”

Those were the words of school board President Alvin Szczepaniak on the decision Wednesday by the Board of Education to privatize transportation and custodial/maintenance work in the district.

… First Student, based in Ohio, and GCA Services Group, based out of Illinois, will handle the transportation and custodial/maintenance services, respectively.

…. Smith said the bus drivers have been hired by the company at the same pay rate received through the district. However, many in transportation and custodial/maintenance will have to pay a portion of their health insurance.

AAPS Custodial, Maintenance Kept Public

Source: By Jennifer Coffman, Ann Arbor News (MI) May 8, 2010


Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education meeting (April 28, 2010): The most recent regular school board meeting of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) ended the debate over privatization of the district’s custodial and maintenance workers – it’s not happening.

The board’s ratification of an agreement between AAPS and local members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union retains the 164 workers and their seven supervisors as AAPS employees. In return, custodial and maintenance workers agreed to lower wages, less vacation time, and almost double the cost of health insurance premiums.

Mount Pleasant schools looking at privatization

Source: By The Saginaw News (MI) May 09, 2010, 3:15PM


 In an attempt to save money, Mount Pleasant school officials are looking to privatize the district’s custodial and transportation services.

Board of Education members are considering a contract with Grand Rapids Building Services for janitorial services and First Student, a national transportation provider that operates more that 60,000 buses, Superintendent Joe Pius said.

 …… Officials for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, which represents custodians, and the Michigan Education Association, which represents school bus drivers, oppose privatizing those services

FWCS custodians oppose outsourcing idea

Source: WANE (IN) Tuesday, 09 Mar 2010, 6:24 AM EST

Dozens of Fort Wayne Community Schools custodians showed up to the district’s board meeting, Monday, in opposition of recent proposals to outsource services including custodial work.

 ….. “We are your first defense against illness and intruders. We are a big part of the support system in place at FWCS,” said Michelle Tribolet. Tribolet is the president of local 561 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. It represents custodians at FWCS. Tribolet says the staff is “very anxious and very worried.”

Does Outsourcing Reduce Wages in the Low-Wage Service Occupations? Evidence from Janitors and Guards,

By Arindrajit Dube and Ethan Kaplan, Industrial & Labor Relations Review,  Vol. 63, No. 2 (January 2010), pp. 287-306.

Abstract: Outsourcing of labor services grew substantially during the 1980s and 1990s and was associated with lower wages, fewer benefits, and lower rates of unionization. The authors focus on two occupations for which they can identify outsourcing in those two decades using industry and occupation codes: janitors and guards. Across a wide array of specifications, they find that the outsourcing wage penalty ranged from 4% to 7% for janitors and from 8% to 24% for guards. Their findings on health benefits mirror those on wages. Evidence suggests that the outsourcing penalty was not due to compensating differentials for higher benefits or lower hours, skill differences, or the types of industries that outsourced. Rather, outsourcing seems to have reduced labor market rents for workers, especially for those in the upper half of the occupational wage distribution. Industries with higher historical wage premia were more likely to outsource service work.

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Outsourcing push roils BC

Source: By Tracy Jan, Boston Globe (MA), January 13, 2010


 …….. Now, the economic downturn has prompted college officials to seek the once unimaginable, the option to outsource some duties of facility workers to save on overtime costs. Doing so, officials say, would help the school preserve jobs.

But many faculty, students, and workers are questioning the move to contract out overtime work, saying it could open the door to replacing the employees with lower-wage, nonunion workers. Such a shift would run counter to Catholic traditions of social justice, they say.

Privatization backlash Crowd takes exception to plans for services at Gladstone schools

By Laura Mead, Daily Press (MI) January 19, 2010

GLADSTONE – Although the Gladstone School Board has made no decisions regarding the privatization of janitorial services within the district, concern continues to grow. A Teamsters steward came to Monday’s meeting armed with letters that included the signatures of over 1,000 community members, petitioning against privatization.