Chairs are placing upside down on the study table, for cleaning the floor

Outsourcing of cleaning tasks is huge a threat for facilities with in-house cleaning departments. But in North Carolina, one school district has come out victorious.

The Durham Board of Education has voted to make custodians Durham Public Schools employees once again, according to an article on WUNC (North Carolina Public Radio).

The move means the schools will end a contract with an outsource management company, acquire cleaning equipment, and give custodial staff higher pay and benefits.

The move will cost DPS about $1.1 million. Some district officials see potential problems.

“We're really excited for the custodians,” Board Chairman Mike Lee said in the article. “I'm really happy for them. It was a good victory for them. Organizing works and this is a perfect example of Durham values.”

Subcontractors have gathered at Board of Education meetings for years, complaining of low pay and poor treatment. And principals said the schools weren't well maintained.

Better cleaning is one legitimate way to prevent outsourcing. According to the Facility Cleaning Decisions’ 2017 Reader Survey, 54 percent of facilities try to improve cleaning efficiencies to keep cleaning in-house. In addition, 49 percent work to communicate the quality of cleaning results.

Durham public schools hope to bring custodians in-house before the 2019 school year.

Read the full article here.