Category Archives: Custodial

Toronto saves $800,000 from contracting-out building cleaning — far less than promised

Source: Paul Moloney Toronto Star, January 3, 2013

The amount Toronto taxpayers will save by contracting-out cleaning at police facilities will be less than a third of the original estimates. Instead of saving $2.5 million a year, budget papers indicate the annual savings will be only about $800,000. The city has pondered putting cleaning services out for contract for years, but council didn’t go along with the idea until last year, after Mayor Rob Ford was elected and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, vowed to outsource anything that wasn’t nailed down. … Under the Ford administration, garbage pick-up west of Yonge St. and TTC bus cleaning have also been outsourced.

The savings on the police contract fall “wildly short of the $2.5 million that was predicted,” said Councillor Pam McConnell, who opposed extending the contract. The $2.5-million figure was extrapolated from a private-sector quote in 2003 to clean four police buildings: police headquarters and three stations. … Councillors were told heavy-duty contract cleaners make $12.27 an hour and light-duty cleaners earn $10.59 hourly, while the city had been paying $23.83 and $22.60 an hour, respectively. …

County to ‘Privatize’ Janitorial Services at 15 Libraries

Source: Leon Worden, SCVNEWS.COM, January 3, 2013

County Librarian Margaret D. Todd is asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to approve an initial four-year contract with a janitorial firm for custodial services at 15 county libraries. Custodial services are currently performed by county employees who are members of the Service Employees International Union…..Janitorial services at the 15 libraries cost the county $323,824 per year when the work is performed by county employees. The annual contract cost with Diamond Contract Services is $257,890. Figures provided by Todd to the supervisors show that most of the cost differential $45,039 is in county employee benefits….

Frederick County schools could outsource some custodian duties / Move could save $483,000 annually

Source: Margarita Raycheva,, December 4, 2012

In effort to cut costs on grounds maintenance, Frederick County Public School officials are considering outsourcing some of the duties that are currently performed by school custodians. Based on a recent study, which explored ways to make the school system’s grounds maintenance more efficient, officials believe they may be able to cut costs by about 28.9 percent annually, or $483,000, if they use outside contractors instead of school custodians to mow and do landscaping around schools….

….The school system as a result hired a contractor, Facilities Engineering Associates of Fairfax, Va., to analyze the system’s existing grounds maintenance operations and determine possibilities for cost savings. Over the past few months, the company put together a report, considering various options for savings and efficiencies in grounds maintenance, which is currently performed by three different groups — an outside contractor, a central office-based grounds crew and school-based custodians. The report, which was presented to the school board on Nov. 28, found that the school system could save the most by contracting out only the grounds maintenance duties performed by school custodians. It also recommended that the school system do a pilot before implementing changes to current practices.The study also advised against outsourcing snow removal services that are now also handled by school custodians. According to the study, school-based custodians can respond to snowy conditions faster than contractors, preventing unnecessary school delays and closures…..

City lays off library custodians

Source: Fran Spielman, Stefano Esposito, Chicago Sun Times, November 30, 2012

….Fifty-four custodians charged with cleaning Chicago Public libraries are also getting their walking papers, effective Friday….The city is just now getting around to issuing pink slips because of a lengthy procurement process that culminated in awards to two companies expected to save the city $2.8 million-a-year: Triad Consulting Services and Dayspring Professional Janitorial Services, she said….

Custodians Express Outsourcing Concerns

Source: Megan Carthel, University Star, November 29, 2012

Some Texas State-employed custodians are questioning whether their shoes will be able to be filled by the new McLemore hires when the university eventually outsources all custodial positions. Texas State started the process of outsourcing its custodians last summer. The university entered a contract, effective June 1, with McLemore Building Maintenance, Inc. McLemore employees will fill the vacancies as university custodians retire or quit over time. Some university custodians do not feel the McLemore employees will be able to provide the same level of service Demanding hours and tasks, fewer benefits and a lack of pre-existing loyalty to Texas State could be some hurdles the outsourced employees will face, some custodians say….

….”Somehow (McLemore is) making money,” Graves said. I don’t know if they’re paying their employees less. I just know how many employees we counted, and we didn’t send that many employees.” One Texas State-employed custodian, who wished to remain anonymous, said he believes the university is outsourcing custodians to save money by not having to give benefits to such staff members in the future. As state employees, university custodians receive health insurance, a retirement program and 1.5 percent salary increases every two years, among other benefits. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said because McLemore is a private company, it does not have a benefits package as extensive as those provided by state entities……

Facing Job Losses and Wage Cuts, Chicago Airport Janitors Pay Rahm Emanuel a Birthday Visit

Source: Kari Lydersen, Working In These Times, November 30, 2012

…. About 300 janitorial jobs at the [O’Hare] airport were privatized in 2005 under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. But workers said they were happy with the contractor who employed them, the company Scrub Inc., in large part because the union had successfully fought for wages of $15.45 an hour and solid benefits. After Scrub’s contract expired, the city accepted a bid from a different employer, United Maintenance Company, which has announced it will pay $11.90 an hour, likely without health insurance or other benefits, according to the union. And the workers likely will lose union representation, as the company isn’t bound by a contract with SEIU. Current workers might not be rehired at all….

Union fights to keep O’Hare janitor jobs
Source: Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune, July 04, 2012

City has $99 million bid from firm that labor leaders say would hire new workforce at lower wages…The current contract for custodial services at O’Hare, with a company called Scrub Inc., expired June 30, and City Hall’s decision on a new contract could come at any time…. SEIU said Scrub has been paying workers according to prevailing rates that begin at $12.05 an hour and top out at $15.45 an hour for those with five years or more of seniority. City records show that Chicago-based United Maintenance Company Inc. underbid Scrub by more than $11 million for the new five-year contract and also came in below eight other bidders that are signatories to SEIU’s master agreement with janitorial companies….

AFL-CIO to make Pawtucket a ‘battleground’ city

Source: Ethan Shorey,Valley Breeze, November 27, 2012

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is planning a major offensive against efforts to privatize municipal departments across the state, and Pawtucket is expected to be the launching point…According to Venice, state union leaders currently see the threat to unions in Rhode Island as being the greatest in Pawtucket, where Mayor Don Grebien is in the process of negotiating with a private company to take over trash services.There is also a preliminary proposal from food service provider Sodexo to assume control of school custodial and maintenance services….

Study: Teacher 401(k) plan costs more / State can’t afford to close hybrid pension plan, senator says

Source: Chad Livengood, Detroit News, November 26, 2012

Eliminating pensions for public school workers and transitioning employees to 401(k)-style savings plans like most private sector workers get in retirement could cost taxpayers $18.1 billion over the next 30 years. That’s the conclusion of a report recently sent to lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration detailing the short- and long-term costs associated with ending a hybrid pension-401(k) plan and moving the public school work force to strictly defined contribution plans….

…The study concludes the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System’s financial troubles are due, in part, to an increase in retirees and fewer workers to pay for their benefits — a problem exacerbated by widespread privatization of noninstructional services such as custodians, food service, busing and administration and charter schools that offer employees guaranteed pensions….
Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System Public Act 300 of 2012 Study
Source: Segal Group, November 15, 2012

Sodexo offers to take over school custodial services

Source: Ethan Shorey, Valley Breeze, November 19, 2012

The privatization train is picking up steam in Pawtucket, where union workers are desperately seeking ways to derail it. The latest proposal is for privatizing custodial and maintenance departments in Pawtucket schools. According to Superintendent Deborah Cylke, the schools’ food service provider, Sodexo, has offered to provide the services at a reduced cost to the district.