HCS Board Members barely approve custodial services contract

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) –  ABM employees held signs that read “Keep ABM, Better Pay, No Layoffs, Fair Treatment” outside Thursday’s Hamilton County School Board meeting.

Inside school board members weighed a contract for cleaning services.

ABM has held the contract for custodial services for years.

“My concern has always been with ABM and it’s been with the company, not the workers. In my buildings in district 5 I have some fabulous workers. Mr. Grady, Ms. Mary, Mr. Leroy. They’re awesome people and they do a good job when they don’t have the supplies that they need for days and weeks at a time when they have to buy it out of their own pockets,” school board member Karitsa Mosley-Jones said.

Last year, ABM presented an action plan to the board after some were unsatisfied with their service.

Since then, some believe their service has improved.

“I feel like ABM has done a good job, of course they, we did have a come to Jesus meeting with them. I do think they have improved a lot of things. I just don’t feel like spending the additional $680,000,” school board member Rhonda Thurman said

“I struggle with the money, I really do, but at what point are you just throwing $12 million down the drain when you’re getting mediocre service,” school board member Tucker McClendon said.

Staff recommended SSC Services.

The company was not the cheapest option.

“Their benefits are above and beyond what ABM has, new equipment, better recruitment, better training,” McClendon said.

School board members narrowly approved the contract with SSC 5-to-4.

“Our expectation as a board is that you will actually achieve the results that we are asking, year after year after year after year,” school board member Marco Perez said.

The new contract includes penalties if services aren’t preformed up to the district’s standards.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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