Category Archives: Custodial

Privatizing in schools grows Districts bid out more services in attempts to save revenue

Source: BY LIZ COBBS, Ann Arbor News (MI), Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pinckney school officials weren’t trying to lead the way on privatization when they decided to outsource food service in 1976 and bus transportation in 1994. They just wanted to find ways to save money, said Linda Moskalik, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

……… During a time of budget cuts, declining student enrollment and uncertainty over state funding, many districts have turned to private companies to provide food, janitorial and busing services, and that trend is expected to continue.

Plea to board: Don't privatize custodial services

Source: By Clayton Hardima, Muskegon Chronicle (MI), Thursday, June 28, 2007

One by one, union members and officials faced the Muskegon Heights Board of Education Wednesday night and made impassioned pleas to board members to reject privatizing school custodial services and save custodians’ jobs.

They cited their dedication to their work, years of service and the family feeling they said existed among employees of the district.

……… Bryant estimated that privatizing custodial services would save the district $200,000 to $225,000. If the decision to not privatize is made, the money will have to be found elsewhere. Bryant said the decision would affect 141/2 custodial positions.

Committee rejects Walker privatization plan / It backs restoring 70 county jobs in budget

Source: DAVE UMHOEFER, Journal Sentinel (WI), Oct. 13, 2006

In the first test of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s privatization proposals, a key County Board committee on Thursday sided with retaining county employees for courthouse security screening and housekeeping. The Finance Committee voted unanimously to delete Walker’s plan to privatize more than 70 positions. ………

The vote came after testimony from union leaders and workers who questioned whether private companies would provide the same quality of service as county employees who run courthouse visitors through metal detectors at public entrances and clean county facilities.

FIU takes strides for janitors

Source: BY NIALA BOODHOO, Miami Herald (FL), Thu, Sep. 28, 2006

Florida International University to move contract janitorial jobs in-house. Janitors at Florida International University will be eligible for salary increases of almost 50 percent and access to healthcare under a new plan to bring the janitorial staff positions back in-house, the state university said Wednesday.

The union that organized janitors at University of Miami, the Service Employees International Union, had been campaigning for similar representation on behalf of the 133 workers at FIU who were contract workers for the university.

Janitor accused of computer theft

Source: By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT, The Telegraph (IL), 08/22/2006

GODFREY – A part-time custodian with Aramark, the firm hired last year to clean Alton schools, was charged Monday with felony theft for allegedly stealing four laptop computers from North Elementary School. ……… The Alton School Board last year signed a contract with Aramark in a move to save about $1 million a year. The Alton Education Association reluctantly agreed to drop the custodians from its bargaining unit in exchange for a promise of 10 percent pay raises over four years.

The staff of custodians was reduced from 52 to 42 employees.

A survey of school employees later rated Aramark 3.2 on a scale of 5, prompting complaints from board member Ed Gray that the firm was not keeping the schools clean enough.

Theft charged in city contracts

Source: By Jim Dooley, Honolulu Advertiser (HI), Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The operator of a company providing janitorial and landscaping services to the city “stole from the City and County and the taxpayers,” a prosecutor said yesterday after Nelson Aguinaldo was indicted on six counts of theft, racketeering and money laundering. “I have no comment,” said Aguinaldo, president of Diversified Janitorial Services Inc., in a brief telephone interview. …. The United Public Workers Union, which represents city blue-collar workers, has complained in the past that the city failed to enforce the prevailing wage requirement when it outsourced janitorial and landscaping jobs to the private sector.

A move toward citywide educational equity

Source: By Susan Snyder, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thu, Apr. 20, 2006

…… Also at yesterday’s commission meeting, workers who belong to the union representing janitors and bus attendants criticized the district for hiring a private firm to run custodial services in 14 schools. Michael McGinley, president of Local 1201 of the Service Employees International Union, told the commission that Sodexho, a Maryland-based company, had not improved services in the schools and that district workers unfairly were held to higher standards. “Why are we expected to clean 32,000 square feet – 10,000 square feet more than contractors?” he asked. He called the contract with Sodexho “a complete waste of taxpayer money.” The district, which hired Sodexho earlier this school year, is paying the firm about $9 million for this school year.

Battle brewing over custodians

Source: By PETER GOONAN, The Republican (MA), Monday, April 17, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – A union lawyer is threatening a battle after learning the city may replace night custodians in the school system with an outside cleaning company effective July 1. . …….The Springfield Finance Control Board on Tuesday advertised for bids from companies interested in taking over custodial duties in 45 school buildings on the second shift, 2:30 to 11 p.m. …… The control board is also considering privatizing cafeteria services and has chosen companies to take over street sweeping and workmen’s compensation. Connor said a letter sent by Puccia to custodians last week indicates that privatization is a done deed, and occurs after the custodians settled a seven-year contract with the control board in September.

Janitor charged in sexual abuse of 2 students

Source: BY KATHY ROUTLIFFE, Niles Herald Spectator (MN), April 13, 2006

Niles Township High School District 219 officials are considering having a public forum to update district parents and residents about the April 6 arrest of a district contract employee in a sexual abuse case involving two Niles North High School students. Arturo Luna, a boys locker room attendant who had worked since last September at Niles North High School is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault for allegedly having sex with two female school students, ages 14 and 16, in one case multiple times. …… Luna was an employee of Aramark Corp., which contracts with District 219 for food and supplemental services. Aramark fired him as a result of the incident.

UB shifting back to unionized custodians

Source: By HENRY L. DAVIS, Buffalo News (NY), 4/1/2006

The University at Buffalo plans to stop outsourcing its custodial work to private companies and return to using unionized employees, school officials said Friday. …. “The problem is the wages,” said Michael F. Dupre, associate vice president for university facilities. He said the established minimum prevailing wage for maintenance personnel in the Buffalo area is only $7.03 an hour, which is not high enough to maintain a stable work force. Today, four private firms provide about 135 custodial workers compared to the 70 or so employees still represented by the Civil Services Employees Association Local 602.