FWCS custodial services contact saves district $4.4 million - June 15, 2010

Record Number: 6451
Displayed from: Jun 15, 2010 , until: Jul 15, 2010

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees on Monday, June 14, approved a three-year contract with Sodexo to provide custodial services for the school District beginning July 19. At an annual cost of $7,193,974, fixed for the next three years, the contract is $4.4 million less than what FWCS currently spends on custodial services by operating the service in-house. Sodexo did not offer the least expensive services of the four finalists considered. FWCS chose Sodexo based its cleaning philosophy, reputation for services and the benefits offered to employees, such as health insurance and a 401k match. Other finalists offered few or no benefits without additional cost to the District, while Sodexo included employee benefits in its package. The company also agreed to interview any current FWCS employee interested in seeking a job with Sodexo and will honor seniority and sick time accrued by current FWCS employees. Health benefits for any FWCS employee hired will also begin immediately. The contract requires Sodexo to use a third-party to perform a background check and drug screening on anyone it hires. The company is contractually required to meet the terms and cleaning requirements detailed in the contract, the request for proposal and the Sodexo proposal. The agreement with Sodexo and the work performed will be monitored by FWCS Maintenance & Operations staff. These steps will ensure FWCS' buildings continue to be carefully cleaned with high quality employees. FWCS began examining the possibility of outsourcing custodial services as part of the necessary $15 million budget reduction. The initial goal was to cut $2 million in custodial services. With a $4.4 million annual savings, it could reduce the amount needed to cut in 2011 (an $8 million is anticipated) or allow the district to continue with education reforms implemented with stimulus money when that funding runs out. FWCS and Sodexo will have information meetings with custodians to assist in the transition process. FWCS will meet with custodians at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 15; Sodexo will offer information meetings at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, June 18. These meetings are open to FWCS custodians only.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.