School Outsourcing Plan Lacks Supporters

It has been four months since the state of Tennessee signed a contract with Chicago-based cleaning contractor Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL). It was proposed that adding colleges and universities, state parks and prisons to the facilities maintenance contract could save the state more than $35 million annually.

But, according to reports from the Knoxville News Sentinel, only one public university has signed on. Austin Peay University, in Clarksville, decided in July to use JLL for its janitorial services after the university's existing contract with another firm ran out.

Workers at other schools that are still working through the decision-making process have expressed concerns that their benefits, hours and job security would be in jeopardy. Meanwhile, East Tennessee State University has decided against participating in the outsourcing plan, saying that “people come first” and “the [current] employees do outstanding work.” And other universities haven’t even listed this as a topic of discussion.

There is no deadline for when universities and colleges must make a decision on the proposal. According to reports, the process is anticipated to be "multi-year."

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