Flagler County Commissioners rejected a cost-cutting move that would have saved about $173,000 each year by eliminating more than a dozen custodial positions and outsourcing janitorial services to a private company … County administrators put the proposal before the County Commission in an effort to streamline expenditures from the county’s budget. The recommendation was to hire American Janitorial, Inc., to provide cleanup services at county facilities for $458,110 per year. … Flagler County currently uses in-house staff to provide custodial duties at its facilities. Commissioner Barbara Revels pointed out that outsourcing those services would effectively remove 13 full-time positons and one part-time job from the county’s General Services department. According to records, 15 employees with annual salaries ranging between $26,374 and $13,031 were on the chopping block. Officials said two of the workers would likely have been reassigned to different departments, had the contract been approved. There was no guarantee American Janitorial would have hired any of the remaining 13 other employees.
Kilgore College trustees voted unanimously Monday to move forward with outsourcing of the maintenance department, bringing the custodial, maintenance and groundskeeping services under one company’s umbrella. The move could cost the college as much as 20 percent more than it has been spending on those services. … One of the “driving factors” of the decision was the state had “offloaded 100 percent of the benefits costs for that classification of employee on to the college. There was no subsidy,” KC President Bill Holda explained to the packed second floor of the Stewart McLaurin Administration Building. About the time the cost of benefits began to go up, he said, the state’s share of those costs for other employees went down. … Holda “guesstimated” the college put in roughly $2.1 million per year for grounds, custodial and maintenance services. During interviews with the different companies college officials found the school will have to spend between $300,000 and $400,000 more per year to make the place “appropriate.” …
The Manistique School Board discussed the possibility of privatizing the district’s custodial operations during its meeting Monday night. Superintendent Mary Ann Boddy told the Radio Results Network that the board had several options: privatizing, phasing in privatization or going with the status quo.
“After some good conversation, and some great thoughts shared by the public during public comment, the board did vote NOT to go forward with privatization,” Boddy told RRN News. “We believe that it will be a good move for all of the employees at the Manistique Area Schools moving forward. We’re happy that things turned out the way that they did.”
Portage Public Schools has approved contracts with both staff custodians and the company it has hired to provide custodial services….While the school board and administrators said they were happy with the work and relationship with the Portage custodians, they have concerns about the Grand Rapids Building Services Inc….The district has a three-year contract with the firm that was approved in 2012 and was set to expire in August. The district agreed to a one-year extension for $1.8 million, but safeguards and measures have been put into place to monitor and improve the company custodians’ work….GRBS wanted more than a one-year extension, Herron said, but the district feels it wants to see improvements before deciding whether to continue beyond 2016 with the company.
Two ways companies can remain competitive in a tightening marketplace is to control or reudce costs. Usually when a business owner wants to make more money, the first thing that comes to mind is to raise rates or send an increase notice to existing customers. However, anytime you do this, you run the risk of a customer responding with a notice of their own, specifically a cancellation notice or one that says they are puting the account out to bid…If you want to make more money, a much safer approach is to take a look at the costs that are in your control…Costs are generally categorized in at least four major categories: labor, supplies, overhead, and profit…Labor is where the most emphasis must be placed when it comes to reducing or hold the line on costs…When it comes to reducing labor, consider the following…Cut the workshift by one hour per day…Look for add-on services that you can provide without extra staff…
Nationwide Facilities Services Provider Fails to Maintain Records That Disclose Impact of Its Employee Selection Procedures, Federal Agency Charges. … Crothall Services Group, Inc., a nationwide provider of janitorial and facilities management services based in Wayne, Pa., is in violation of federal law requiring it to maintain records or other information that will disclose the impact its employee selection procedures have on equal employment opportunities, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday. According to EEOC’s complaint, Crothall conducts criminal background checks and criminal history assessments. Crothall uses its assessments of an applicant’s criminal history to make hiring decisions. The company fails to make and keep required records, however, that will disclose the impact that its criminal history assessments have on persons identifiable by race, sex or ethnic group, the agency charged. Crothall’s failure to make and keep such records violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ….
Source: Bernice Yeung, Center for Investigative Reporting, Reveal, June 23, 2015
Daffodil Altan of Reveal, Sasha Khokha of KQED and Andrés Cediel and Lowell Bergman of IRP reported for this story.
….The night shift janitor is an easy target for abuse. She clocks in after the last worker has flipped off the lights and locked the door. It’s tough work done for little pay in the anonymity of night, among mazes of empty cubicles and conference rooms. She’s even less likely to speak up if she’s afraid of being deported or fired. Across the country, janitors at companies large and small say their employers have compounded the problem by turning a blind eye to complaints and attacking their credibility when they report abuse at the hands of their supervisors or co-workers. In the janitorial world, ABM is the largest. It employs the most cleaners in the country and has a history of facing charges that it failed to prevent sexual violence. It’s among a rare group of 15 American corporations to have been targeted multiple times by the federal government for sexual harassment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued ABM three times since 2000 for mishandling complaints of sexual harassment or worse. Two of those cases involved allegations of rape, which is striking considering how rare it is for people to make these types of allegations publicly. In all three cases, the company settled and agreed to make improvements…..
….We found 42 lawsuits from the past two decades in which ABM janitors said they had been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped at work. An unknown number of cases have been hidden from public view through confidential settlements. And despite government-imposed reform plans, similar accusations continue to crop up. In Los Angeles, two lawsuits filed in the past year say women who complained about explicit comments or sexual assault were ignored. After more than a year of correspondence, ABM officials declined to be interviewed. The company instead provided a statement from its lawyer, Miranda Tolar. It said the way ABM handles the issue is the “gold standard” for the industry…..
….In Massachusetts, seven female janitors cleaning universities and office buildings for a company called UGL Unicco sued their employer after they said their supervisor touched and harassed them. The case settled in 2002 for $1 million; the company did not admit wrongdoing. Janitors have sued the company five times in federal courts since then. In Minnesota, a janitor filed a lawsuit in 2009 that claimed she was raped repeatedly by her boss while on the clock cleaning a shopping mall. When it got notice of her complaint, cleaning company Service Management Systems asked the accused manager to gather evidence for the case. The company settled the case and later said this was against its protocol. The janitor now works uneventfully for ABM…..
….Janitors have claimed that they were forced to clock in using two different names to avoid racking up overtime, Lerner said. They say unscrupulous contractors call them independent contractors so they don’t have to follow labor laws. Segments of the workforce aren’t authorized to work in the U.S., a scenario that makes workers vulnerable to abuses and puts companies at risk for legal problems. Another part of the industry operates completely on the black market. The outfits go unregistered with the government to avoid paying taxes or insurance. These off-the-grid companies can charge far less than their competitors, said Lilia Garcia-Brower of the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, which is partially funded by ABM to ferret out labor violations among nonunionized companies…..
Almost all privatization deals are bad news for the public. The profit motive leads to higher costs, reduced services, and a whole lot of sleaze. Privatization Scam of the Year Awards shows link between privatization and sleaze The Privatization Scam of the Year Awards draw attention to the profiteering, lower standards and outright corruption that come with privatization. …
…The nominees for the 2014 “Scammie” are:
• Ontario’s P3 privatizations schemes that added $8 billion to the cost of public infrastructure
• British Columbia’s replacement of home care professionals with unpaid volunteers
• New Brunswick’s secret negotiations to privatize food and cleaning services in hospitals
• Replacing public employees with consultants in Saskatchewan — at double the cost
• Interpol called in to help with investigation of Montreal hospital P3 privatization scheme corruption
Custodial staff within the Romeo School District may still have hope of holding onto their jobs as the Romeo School Board finalized their 2015-16 budget at their June 15 meeting. The board unanimously approved a budget that included $2.1 million in expenditure rollbacks. A portion of those reductions include a $500,000 savings to be gained through the outsourcing of 31 custodial staff in the district. …. The bulk of the savings would come from $1,157,500 worth of teaching staff reductions due to a lower student count throughout the district. …. The final budget was approved and sent to Lansing, but amendments can be made throughout the year, which would be done if AFSCME and the district come to an agreement within the next month before their contract expires. ….
Door still open for custodial staff to save jobs in Romeo
Source: Matthew Fahr, Advisor & Source, June 4, 2015
What was first thought to be a finished piece of the Romeo School District budget has slowly become an option once again. Custodial staff of the Romeo School District and their supporters were again on hand at the Romeo School Board meeting on June 1 to plead with the board to reconsider privatizing their jobs starting later this year … Felicia Hicks, the Council 25 AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employee) representative for the staff, said at the last meeting that her workers have taken a 7.5 percent pay cut and have been paying toward their own insurance for years. She told the board that they were willing to work with the district at the bargaining table to find the $500,000 needed to keep their workers employed by the district.
Romeo School Board approves budget cut recommendations
Source: Matthew Fahr, Advisor & Source, June 2, 2015
After years of using fund equity to avoid the inevitable, the Romeo District School Board voted 5-2 to accept budget cutting recommendations. …. Budget figures put the savings at almost $600,000 if the district shifts 31 custodial employees and three campus monitors to a private company and off of the district payroll….. When it became official that the board would plug those changes into the upcoming 2015-16 budget, frustration boiled over. Felicia Hicks, the Council 25 AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employee) representative for the staff, said that her workers have taken a 7.5 percent pay cut and have been paying toward their own insurance for years, but were willing to work with the district at the bargaining table to find the $500,000 needed to keep their workers employed by the district.
The Glen Rock Board of Education this week approved a resolution abolishing the last four supervising custodian positions that remain compensated directly by the district, pursuant to its new outsourcing contract with Aramark Management LLC. Effective July 1, the action at the Monday, May 18 BOE meeting incorporated a “sidebar” settlement reached with the Glen Rock Education Association (GREA), providing additional benefits to individuals whose jobs will lapse on that date. The union had vigorously opposed the elimination of the positions since the plan was disclosed last year, most notably the timing of the change, which it said penalized some workers nearing retirement.
The negotiated sidebar agreement includes the following provisions:
* The affected employees will be paid for accumulated sick leave based on years of service at the applicable per-diem rate and maximum payment for either resigning employees or retiring employees as governed by the related collective bargaining agreement, whichever is applicable;
* Affected 12-month employees are entitled to medical insurance in accordance with the agreement, until July 31;
* Employees with unused vacation days accrued during the current school year and others they were permitted to accumulate as per the agreement are entitled to payment at their per diem rate, to be calculated on the basis of their 2014-15 salaries.
It additionally stipulates that the workers will not be entitled to any other salary or benefits from the district after their termination at the end of this school year; and that the benefits included would not affect their right to collect unemployment benefits for which they are otherwise eligible.
Glen Rock school district reaches agreement with outsourcing company
Source: Glen Rock Gazette, May 1, 2015
Aramark Management Services will continue as the Glen Rock school district’s outsourcing provider of custodial services for at least the next two years. A new contract with the company was unanimously approved by the Board of Education at its April 27 public meeting. It calls for a payment of $1,499,363 to the company for custodial and management services in 2015-16, and $1,514,356 the following year.The pact also includes three, one-year extensions at the district’s option. Under the new agreement, Aramark will provide all district custodians, with the positions of the remaining four head custodians compensated directly by the district to be eliminated at the end of this term. All other workers had been supplied by Aramark since 2011. ….