Elgin Community College Considering Outsourcing Custodial Services

Elgin Community College Trustee Robert A. Getz sends out periodic emails containing his views on the the college.

The other trustees must be disturbed by them because they seem to have insisted that he include the following paragraph at the bottom:

Robert Getz

Robert Getz

“I was requested to provide the following as a part of this disclaimer.

‘These views do not represent those opinions of the Elgin Community College Board of Trustees or that of Elgin Community College.

‘Issues discussed and agreed to by the Board of Trustees, are derived from feedback and input from the total Board of Trustees during the Committee of the Whole process.

“It is in this forum that Ideas are shared and supported by board consensus and college input provided in the decision making process.

“The Board of Trustees are committed to transparency relating to college issues involving how we do business.

‘This process of clear, fair, and open discussion contributes greatly to the present and future health of Elgin Community College.'”

Considering the charges of violation of the Open Meetings Act below the above statement is almost amusing.

Here is the email:

Before I go into my Newsletter, many of you have asked how to contact the other Trustees on the Board since their email addresses and phone numbers are kept confidential. There is a general email address boardoftrustees@elgin.edu where you may send your inquiries and thoughts. Don’t hold back, contact us if you have a question or comment for our consideration.

Let us now go to that Special Meeting on June 4, 2014. A number of things led to my NO VOTE on the Board Action under consideration.

To begin, I did not believe the Closed Session held at 5:00pm was in accordance with the Open Meeting’s Act.

I believe that discussion should have been held in open session with the Community being allowed to hear the views and directions of the various Trustees and Administrators.

Second, the Board Action was not presented to the Board until one hour prior to the Board Meeting.

Normally, such Board Actions are presented to the Trustees six days prior to the meeting where they come under consideration by a vote. That also allows questions to be asked/answered and discussions to be held at the Committee of the Whole in open session the day prior to the Board Meeting.

The Board only had one hour to consider, review and determine how to vote on this Board Action.

At the Open Session Meeting, I spoke to these concerns and requested that the vote be held until the next Board Meeting seven days later and was denied. I then requested to present my concerns and questions but was denied by a “Call the Question” and the vote was taken.

Thus, there was no open discussion of the Board Action.

Third, within the Board Action, it was noted “the Board of Trustees authorizes the issuance of a new request for proposal (RFP) for a custodial services company to provide management consultation services to: ………… (3) provide leadership and management/supervision…..”

Does that mean we are planning to outsource the Supervisory Team of the Custodial Work Force rather than the entire Custodial Work Force?

Is this just the first step in a process to eliminate the entire Custodial Work Force?

If that is true, I have to vote NO to this Board Action because I have not heard any reason why any of the individuals within the Custodial Work Force should be outsourced. This was one of the questions I wished to ask but denied the opportunity and it remains a question to be answered.

Fourth, the realignment of the Custodial Work Force is to be expected to result in a variety of changes to include “attrition.” Significant new square footage has been added to the responsibilities of the Custodial Work Force. The previous RFP to outsource the Custodial Work Force referred to maintaining the Campus at Levels II and III as identified in the national standard – APPA’s Custodial Staffing Guidelines.

The question to be asked at this point in the Board Action is, “What were the Full Time Equivalents (FTE) in the Custodial Work Force required before construction and after the new square footage was added to the campus maintenance requirements in accordance with the Custodial Staffing Guidelines?”

Is the campus lacking in the number of Custodians required to clean the campus?

How may the decrease in the Custodial Work Force through attrition attain Cleaning Levels of II and III when the numbers appear to show the work force is below those Levels?

These questions were not allowed prior to the vote.

Fifth, at the conclusion of the Recommendation to the Board for this Action, it was noted, “Funds for the purchase of the management services in future years will become available from the anticipated cost savings.”

I would ask how such a consideration might be guaranteed other than through attrition resulting in a reduction of the staff required to accomplish the required Cleaning Levels?

Sixth, the campus had a Recognition Ceremony at the end of the school year in May. Various service and performance awards were presented.

At the end of that ceremony, the final award to the group identified as providing the most significant support to the campus was presented. That Award was presented to the Custodial Work Force. I

f they are the best, why do we have this problem with their performance?

How could a group picked to show the best at the College be identified as having an “erosion of the historical esprit de corps associated with the department”?

As you can see, there were a number of questions which needed to be addressed and discussed prior to voting on this action.

Unfortunately, we did not have a transparent review of the Board Action brought before our Board. While I am extremely happy that the document indicated “our current custodial staff, who will remain employees of Elgin Community College,” I

fear this is only a temporary situation which may soon change and I cannot support an action which is not open to a full discussion of its particulars before the Community it represents.

At this time, the Board Action is still not provided on the College Web Site.

I have done my best to type it out from the copy I received and have attached it to this email. Read it and let me know if you have any questions beyond those which I presented above.

After you’ve read this email, I look forward to your providing me with your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Please reply to rgetzecc@yahoo.com,boardoftrustees@elgin.edu or call at 630-777-8574 and provide your thoughts.  I would be very happy to provide replies at the first opportunity.

= = = = =
The next meeting will be July 8th at 6:30.


Elgin Community College Considering Outsourcing Custodial Services — 3 Comments

  1. Thank you Tom Wilbeck and Jenner.

    They got the MCC to outsource and saved us a bundle of money.

    Smart move.

  2. A+ for Robert Getz Transparency.

    F- for ECC Board last minute agenda addition, rush job vote, and closed session secrecy.

    The agenda item should not have been voted on.

    Board members should automatically vote no when they do not have enough time to consider information.

    Board members should have at least 2 weeks to mull over new information before voting on the information.

    Elgin Community College Trustees.

    Angela Causey
    John Duffy (Board Secretary)
    Robert A. Getz
    Eleanor “Ellie” MacKinney (Board Vice Chair)
    Dr. Clare M. Ollayos
    Dr. Donna Redmer (Board Chair)
    Art Sauceda

    ECC President
    David Sam, JD, PhD, LLM

    The above is an example of how even with FOIA and Open Meetings Act laws, there are still rush job votes.

    They always have an excuse.

    They will have an excuse for this rush job vote.

    Bottom line.

    It was a rush job vote.

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