Category Archives: Custodial

GHC outsourcing security, custodial services

Source: Northwest Georgia News, May 11, 2016

Georgia Highlands College will be outsourcing campus safety and custodial positions at all campuses, according to school officials. “We want to broaden our security and are privatizing and restructuring the custodial program to help with the costs of that expansion,” explained Sheila Jones, director of public relations and marketing. … The college’s human resources department is arranging employee meetings with Dynamic Security, the company that will be supplying security services. Employee meetings will also be set up with 3H Systems, the custodial services company. … The college currently has 29 full-time employees working in custodial and security departments at all of its campuses. Also, security and custodial staff will be encouraged to apply for any open GHC positions for which they may be qualified, and human resources will contact Kennesaw State, Dalton State and the Technical College System of Georgia to obtain information on any position opportunities they have.

Plainfield D-202 board, union reach agreement that avoids outsourcing

Source: Felix Sarver, Herald News, May 9, 2016

A controversial proposal to outsource custodians at Plainfield School District 202 was avoided as the board and custodians’ union reached a new agreement.  The agreement between the board and the Plainfield Association Support Staff is one that Board President Michelle Smith said at Monday’s meeting will “result in significant savings for the district over the next three years” but that PASS President John Piechocinski stated in a news release is “bittersweet at best.” … Under the agreement the board approved Monday – and that PASS voted in favor of Saturday – custodians will continue to receive their pay, workers’ compensation coverage, health insurance and retirement benefits through District 202, according to a news release.  District officials emphasized in a news release that the agreement could save $1.8 million in costs a year.  However, custodial positions will be restructured and their numbers will be lowered and certain positions will make less while the pay for some others will remain the same. … The district received custodial services bids from ABM, Aramark and GCA Services Group.

Related:

Plainfield D-202 to hold hearing on outsourcing custodial services
Source: Felix Sarver, Herald News, April 24, 2016

… The district received bids from GCA Services Group, ABM and Aramark for custodial services that could reduce costs between $908,000 to $9.9 million during the next three years, depending on the number of positions deployed, pay rates and benefits, district officials have said. A three-year total cost analysis of six base bids presented to the public at an April 11 board meeting from the companies showed GCA Services Group mostly having the lowest cost, with the exception of base bid No. 3 from ABM. Aramark showed to have the highest cost. PASS, the district’s support staff union, has criticized the proposal and rallied against the proposal. …

Plainfield School District 202 Hears Bids for Custodial Services
Source: Scott Viau, Plainfield Patch, April 13, 2016

Three businesses have submitted bids to the Plainfield School District 202 Board of Education to take over custodial services from the Plainfield Association of Support Staff. The businesses include Wisconsin-based ABM, Aramark and Downers Grove-based GCA Services Group. While District 202 will hold a public hearing on the bids at its April 25 meeting, the Board of Education heard the bids Monday evening at its regular board meeting. … The bids received would reduce costs between $908,000 to $9.9 million over the next three years, depending on benefits, pay rates and the number of positions employed. District 202 currently has 190 custodial positions that work either 4, 6, 6.5 or 8 hours daily. If PASS custodians continue to work at the schools, it would cost the district about $27.5 million over three years, according to the district. The school district asked vendors to provide costs for six different service packages, with the number of employees, hours worked and pay rates being the variables.

View from Union’s Side on 202 Custodian Issue
Source: WJOL, April 13, 2016

As Plainfield School District 202 looks in the possibility of outsourcing custodial services in an effort to save money, Ann Bachman McIntosh who is with Uniserve IEA and is representing the custodians in District 202, says there is a lack of transparency from the district to the custodians when it comes to actual savings of possible outsourcing. Currently the District is mulling over 3 bids for possibly outsourcing custodial services, and McIntosh told WJOL that district will not allow them to see the bids under consideration. When asked if the District could save money and receive the same level of service, McIntosh says being fiscally responsible is very important but, that there could be an impact on the local economy.

Plainfield support staff union rallies at District 202 meeting
Source: Felix Sarver, The Herald-News, February 22, 2016

District 202 officials’ announcement earlier this month that they were considering outsourcing custodial services came as a “complete shock” to PASS members, who have since planned to rally and pack Board of Education meetings from February to May. Board President Michelle Smith read a statement at Monday’s meeting saying she had to apologize to parents, staff and custodians “who have been misled by blatantly inaccurate information” about board members’ consideration of outsourcing. … She said discussions about outsourcing initially arose in response to concerns of a possible strike by custodians during the upcoming PASS negotiations. The district is obligated to keep buildings open, clean and well-maintained and one way to do so in the event of the strike is to contract with a third party, she said.

Plainfield District 202 to consider outsourcing custodial services
Source: Felix Sarver, The Herald-News, February 12, 2016

Plainfield School District 202 officials are considering outsourcing custodial services, which comes as a “complete shock,” according to the district’s support staff union.  A news release sent Friday afternoon announced District 202 will explore outsourcing custodial services to “more effectively manage its finances in light of the state’s unpredictable and inadequate” funding of public education. … “The news that the school district will consider outsourcing came as a complete shock to the 148 talented, dedicated and very concerned custodians in the school district,” according to a statement attributed to PASS President John Piechocinski distributed Friday afternoon. The PASS statement also said replacing “not-for-profit school district employees with a for-profit company” will jeopardize safety, cleanliness and security in schools. … The district tentatively plans to solicit bids for custodial services on or about March 8 and the board would publicly review and consider bids at its April 11 meeting, according to the district’s news release.

FPS trustees vote for custodial privatization, tentative transportation agreement

Source: Sherri Kolade, C and G News, May 9, 2016

Farmington Public Schools trustees voted 5-1 to outsource their custodial staff for a projected savings of $1.4 million annually, according to a school letter sent out to community members. They also voted to approve a tentative agreement with transportation union members on health care provisions 5-1 — if all bargaining units don’t agree on the terms, school officials will discuss the next step at the following school board meeting. … During a Jan. 26 school board meeting, the trustees unanimously voted to receive requests for proposals from privatized transportation and custodial service companies. FPS officials have had discussions with both bargaining units, the Custodial/Maintenance/Cafeteria Association and the Farmington Transportation Association, about the decision to potentially subcontract since then. Lori Tunick, executive director of the Farmington Michigan Education Association, which oversees the transportation and custodial service unions in FPS, said there are about 65 custodians and roughly 70 bus drivers. …

WKU staff respond to news of new employer

Source: Monica Kast, WKU Herald, May 5, 2016

Employees who will be moving to employment by Sodexo will receive a pay increase, and the starting wage will now be $10.26, one dollar more than the current starting wage. Sodexo will also reimburse employees who want to take courses that will further their career path, according to Russell. Despite the welcome of Sodexo and assurances from administration, not every employee is confident that the change is for the best. Brenda Whitaker has been an employee at WKU for 26 years. She currently works as a BSA on campus. Because she is near retirement, she will remain employed by WKU, but she said she didn’t agree with moving others to Sodexo. … At the forum, BSA employees were able to voice some of that negative feedback. Most concerns were about retaining vacation days and potentially losing tuition benefits that are currently offered to employees. Yost said employees would begin acquiring vacation and sick days with Sodexo on August 1. “Holidays will be determined by Sodexo USA management,” Yost said. “Under Sodexo USA, employees will be awarded a beginning vacation leave balance based upon their years of service at Western Kentucky University. Effective August 1, 2016, employees will accrue vacation and sick time, both of which will be based upon Sodexo USA’s accrual schedule and their years of service to Western Kentucky University.” …

Related:

Frustrations and concerns voiced at WKU budget cut forum
Source: Aaron Mudd, Bowling Green Daily News, April 29, 2016

Frustrations and concerns about a planned budget cut of more than $6 million at Western Kentucky University brought students and staff together for an open forum Thursday. … On Wednesday, the university announced a plan to spread out a $6,039,200 budget cut in fiscal year 2017. The cut was possible by trimming from 24 different areas, Ransdell said, and it had to be done without threatening filled faculty positions, credit-bearing academic programs and core student services.  Some programs were consolidated, reduced or eliminated, Ransdell said. About six current WKU employees will lose their jobs, he said.  Ransdell said a move to transfer 202 building services and grounds employees to private contractor Sodexo will save 25 jobs and about $750,000. A 48 percent employer contribution increase to the Kentucky Employees Retirement System is a notable cost to WKU. … Compared to the 10 vacation days WKU provides in December, Sodexo provides three days. Bryan Russell, WKU’s chief facilities officer, said the university will buy out any unused vacation time when the employees transfer to Sodexo in July.  Despite the budget cut, WKU is also phasing in a 3 percent salary increase for all full-time employees between July 1 and July 1, 2017. …

WKU Building and Grounds Employees Voice Concerns in Budget Forum
Source: Lisa Autry, WKU Public Radio, April 28, 2016

The president of Western Kentucky University says building services attendants will get “pretty similar” benefits when their work is transferred to a private contractor. … Under the change, employees will get fewer sick days. That’s a concern for Paul Barbour, whose wife works as a BSA.  Barbour says she’s taken a lot of time off because of ailments related to a car accident. Barbour fears the Sodexo will put productivity over people. … Sodexo is also expected to offer less paid vacation time around Christmas time.  Employees will get three days off in December compared to the 10 days they were given by WKU.   No BSAs will lose their jobs.  They’ll also receive a one dollar per hour raise when they transfer to Sodexo.

WKU plan privatizes 202 staff positions
Source: Jacob Dick, WKU Herald, April 27, 2016

WKU custodial, building services, groundskeeping and waste management employees working on the Bowling Green campus will be employed by a private company starting in August to save money in the 2016-17 budget. On Wednesday, university administration informed faculty and staff that Sodexo, a private employment management service, would be taking over as employer for an additional 202 WKU workers. The change is supposed to save $745,000 for the next fiscal year. … Chief Facilities Officer Bryan Russell confirmed at a media briefing Wednesday that 18 staff with 20 or more years of employment would remain under WKU. … Russell said employees hired at the starting rate of $9.26 would receive that raise, and staff who were paid more than that amount will have their salaries adjusted with smaller raises. Russell also said children of staff currently enrolled in the university will still receive tuition discounts for attending WKU. Staff will receive discounts until 2017. … WKU has had a contract with Sodexo for 20 years, and the contract will be amended at the end of the fiscal year to include additional staff.

WKU ground and service employment to be privatized
Source: WKU Herald, April 27, 2016

WKU custodial, building services, landscape and waste management employees working on the Bowling Green campus will no longer be employed by the university effective this August. On Wednesday, employees were informed that their employment with the university would end in July and that a private employment management service, Sodexo, would be taking over as their employer. … It continued to state that areas within the Department of Facilities Management, Housing and Residence Life and Downing Student Union would not be impacted.

School board trustees to mull custodial outsourcing

Source: The Gazette-Virginian, May 4, 2016

Halifax County School Board will discuss bids from custodial outsourcing companies when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday for a work session in the School Board Conference Room in the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax. The board agreed to receive bids until Wednesday at their last meeting after they amended and approved a request for proposal. … After ED-4 Trustee Joe Gasperini told Jennings that he felt the school board should decide if employees were going to stay with the school system, Jennings told the board he wrote the RFP so that companies would give prices based on if they took the employees or if they remained employees of the school system.

Related:

Schools now taking custodial outsourcing bids
Source: Ashley Hodge, Gazette-Virginian, April 13, 2016

Halifax County Public Schools will receive bids from custodial outsourcing companies through May 4 after Halifax County School Board members amended and approved a request for proposal at their meeting Monday evening in Halifax. The RFP was unanimously approved by a 5-0 vote with ED-3 Trustee Kim Farson, ED-7 Trustee R. K. “Dick” Stoneman and ED-1 Trustee Orey Hill absent from the meeting. … The RFP states the first contract will be for 12 months from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017 with the school system having the option of extension annually up to an additional five years. Extension will be based upon satisfactory performance of the contractor. The RFP initially said sealed proposals would be accepted until May 13, but ED-6 Trustee Fay Satterfield suggested moving the date to May 4, so bids could be reviewed prior to the board’s May 9 meeting. … Jennings said he wrote the RFP so that companies will give prices based on whether the employees become company employees or if they remain employees of the school system.

Group gives proposal on outsourcing custodial services for schools
Source: Doug Ford, Gazette-Virginian, February 1, 2016

Halifax County School Board trustees decided to seek more information on a possible outsourcing of services after listening to a presentation by GCA Services at its work session in Halifax on Friday. … GCA serves approximately 3,000 schools in 48 states, including 17 partners in Virginia and with a 96 percent contract retention rate. … Halifax County Public Schools currently employs 50 custodians and 18 maintenance workers, all vested in the VRS system. Operations and maintenance accounts for approximately 8 percent or $5,271,184 of the current budget for Halifax County Public Schools, and GCA, if implemented would save the school system approximately $958,240 its first year, not including VRS payments, according to GCA representatives. …

Hundreds attend N.J. school district meeting to fight outsourcing

Source: Brittany M. Wehner, NJ.com, April 29, 2016

A South Jersey school district has decided to seek bids for services that could replace staff, school board officials said Thursday night. Due to a deficit in the budget, Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District administration is being forced to find a way to fill the gaps. One possibility is job cuts, then outsourcing, or bringing outside services into the district. Woodstown-Pilesgrove faced a $1.4 million deficit in the budget in May 2015, which also brought layoffs. However, the budget is still at a deficit of $333,223, according to District Business Administrator Frank Rizzo. Since 2010, the district has already cut more than 30 staff positions. The district now faces possible cuts in class-three maintenance, custodial, cafeteria, and paraprofessional staff. … When it came down to the vote granting administration permission to research costs for outsourcing, the board was split. It passed with a 4 to 3 vote with one abstention. … However, hundreds of parents, teachers, and staff turned out for the board meeting and made their voices and concerns heard, claiming outsourcing is not the way to go.

County rejects Claremont privatization pitches

Source: Zack Hoopes, The Sentinel, April 25, 2016

The county’s quasi-controversial interest in further privatization at the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center appears to have come to a halt. The Cumberland County Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to reject all offers received from vendors to completely take over the food, housekeeping, and laundry departments at the county-owned nursing home. After reviewing the bids received last month, county staff recommended to the commission that none of the offers were worth it. … In February, the commissioners had voted to issue a bid solicitation for vendors to run Claremont’s auxiliary functions. Currently, an outside management company – Sodexo – is responsible for the cash flow. But the 75 workers in the food, laundry, and housekeeping services are county employees. If the county were to go through with it, the proposal would have had those jobs become private-sector.

Related:

County to get proposals on privatization of some nursing home functions
Source: Zack Hoopes, The Sentinel, February 1, 2016

Cumberland County has committed to at least testing the waters a bit when it comes to further outsourcing at the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The county’s’ Board of Commissioners voted two-to-one Monday to issue a request for proposals for an outside contractor to completely take over the food, housekeeping, and laundry departments at the county-owned nursing home. … Approximately 75 employees would be affected if the county were to move forward with such a proposal, which would not directly impact nurses or any other medical staff. Bids are due back March 10, with Sodexo or any other qualified company able to make a pitch. … The 65-page bid specification the county issued lays out, in detail, how the outside vendor would be required to maintain the current levels of quality and service. It also specifies that employees bound by collective bargaining agreements are to keep their jobs – the 75 employees in the food, housekeeping, and laundry operations are unionized.

Superbugs vs. Outsourced Cleaners: Employment Arrangements and the Spread of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Source: Adam Seth Litwin, Ariel C. Avgar, Edmund R. Becker, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Forthcoming, February 24, 2016

Abstract:

On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients in the U.S. has a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) that the patient contracts as a direct result of his or her treatment. Fortunately, the spread of most HAIs can be halted through proper disinfection of surfaces and equipment. Consequently, cleaners — “environmental services” (EVS) in hospital parlance — must take on the important task of defending hospital patients (as well as employees and the broader community) from the spread of HAIs. Nevertheless, despite the importance of this task, hospitals frequently outsource this function, increasing the likelihood that these workers are under-rewarded, undertrained, and detached from the organization and the rest of the care team. As a result, the outsourcing of EVS workers could have the unintended consequence of increasing the incidence of HAIs. We demonstrate this relationship empirically, finding support for our theory by using a self-constructed dataset that marries infection data to structural, organizational, and workforce features of California’s general acute care hospitals. The study thus advances the literature on nonstandard work arrangements — outsourcing, in particular — while sounding a cautionary note to hospital administrators and healthcare policymakers.

Janitors and security guards are paid 20% less when they’re contractors, report says

Source: Shan Li, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2016

A boom in companies trying to cut costs by contracting out janitorial and security jobs has led to large pay disparities between workers doing the same jobs, according to a UC Berkeley report. Janitors who work for California contractors earn on average $10.31 an hour, or 20% less than janitors who work directly for a company that uses their services, according to the report, prepared by the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education and released Tuesday. … Many contractors, especially smaller companies, also do not pay overtime or even minimum wage, Hinkley said. They often misclassify workers as independent contractors, thereby avoiding making Social Security contributions and sometimes even pocketing taxes that would normally be deducted from paychecks. … When workers want to complain, an often complicated layer of contractors and subcontractors obscures who is responsible for their paycheck and working conditions, Narro said. Many contractors who are hired to supply janitors or security guards will in turn outsource those jobs to subcontractors, which can be “fly by night” operations that work with no contracts, he said.

I Was a Super Bowl Concession Worker

Source: Gabriel Thompson, Slate, February 9, 2016

The smart stadium was supposed to be an economic boon. Back in 2010, when residents of Santa Clara, a small city of 120,000 just northwest of San Jose, voted to support its construction, boosters promised it would create “thousands of desperately needed new jobs,” providing a lifeline to the very people “bearing the brunt of the recession.” Pro-stadium signs reading “Yes on Jobs!” blanketed the city, part of a campaign paid for by the 49ers, who plowed more than $4 million into the effort. … The stadium has indeed provided a few thousand jobs—about 4,500 people work each event, serving hot dogs, directing traffic, mopping up spilled beer, and securing the grounds. … Many of the stadium workers I spoke with told me they earn $11 or $12 an hour. That would be about $1,900 a month if it were full-time work, but it’s not. … That’s what the NFL usually does: Twenty-nine of the 31 NFL stadiums have received public funds. The stadium for the Indianapolis Colts was made possible with a $620 million subsidy; the Minnesota Vikings are set to receive $678 million from taxpayers to help build their new one. St. Louis, which recently lost the Rams to Los Angeles, built the team a stadium in 1995 with $280 million in taxpayer money—and will be paying off the debt on those bonds, team or not, through at least 2021.

Judith Grant Long, an associate professor of sport management at the University of Michigan, studied all 31 NFL stadiums in use during the 2010 season, and calculated that taxpayers shelled out an average of $374 million each. The 49ers got a good deal with Levi’s Stadium, too. Santa Clara used $114 million in public funds, and, with the help of Goldman Sachs, created a public authority that borrowed $679 million to fund the remainder of the construction, all of which would be paid off with revenue generated by the stadium over the next 25 years. Or so the authority—whose board comprises Santa Clara’s mayor and city council—claimed. The original plan called for the 49ers and the NFL to chip in another $493 million, but during lengthy negotiations between the stadium authority and the team, that figure was later cut nearly in half. In the end, Goldman Sachs earned $75 million in interest and fees and the 49ers’ net worth jumped 69 percent in one year, to $2.7 billion.