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Local 79 calls for contracting-in of cleaning services at Toronto Police stations

President Tim Maguire tells the City’s Government Management Committee that Local 79 has serious concerns about renewing the contract with the private company contracted to clean Toronto Police Service locations.

Dear Councillor Ainslie and Members of the Government Management Committee:

RE:     GM16.11        Performance Evaluation of Contracted Cleaning Services in Toronto Police Service Locations and Contract Renewal Options (Ward All)

Government Management Committee has before it today a recommendation from the Acting Chief Corporate Officer to exercise the option to renew the contract with Impact Cleaning Services (Custodial Services Contract No. 47016502) or issue a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for the provision of custodial services in Toronto Police Service buildings.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79 has some serious concerns about this contract and disagrees with the option for further renewal. 

Today, Government Management Committee is not only being asked to renew this Contract from February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2015, but the Staff Report is also seeking to give authority to the Executive Director of the Facilities Management Division to approve the further renewal contract period from February 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017. When the most basic oversights are removed, companies are free to operate without the threat of any penalties. The City needs to ensure that this contract is routinely examined to insure compliance and value for money; this means returning it to Committee at every option. 

CUPE Local 79 contends that the tendering process was flawed. There were issues with the tendering process, which resulted in only one successful bid. How can this be deemed an effective tender?  Impact Cleaning Services was the only respondent who had its financial envelope opened in the bidding process – there was no competition. Without competition how does the City know they received the best value for money? This RFP essentially became a sole-sourced contract with no effective competition on price. Instead of renewing this contract, the committee should recommend that these cleaning services return to being directly delivered by City employees.

Many questions remain about Impact Cleaning Services’ ‘satisfactory performance evaluation’ in the Report.  CUPE Local 79 has formalized its concerns about the quality of service and value for money by filing access toinformation requests months ago. Although some information has been made available, we are still waiting on information specific to safety, security, and planning which are ‘key’ to the operation of police stations. We have posed many questions around staffing, pandemic planning and security issues, but we have yet to receive the requested information on these matters.

Finally, on quality, the Staff Report states that 29 respondents rated Impact’s performance as satisfied or somewhat satisfied. Again, this is incomplete data.  Are 29 respondents an appropriate measure of quality assurance and value for money? It remains unclear what concerns officers and Toronto Police Services staff had and how those concerns were addressed. In addition, what comparison was done with the previous provider – the City of Toronto?

The challenges workers face in the contract cleaning industry are well-documented. There are multiple issues facing these workers, and companies, such as Impact Cleaning Services, have been known to sub-contract out this work and drive down the standards of wages, working conditions and the quality of the services. In fact, in 2010, Impact Cleaning Services was cited as non-compliant by the City’s Fair Wage Office.

(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2010/gm/bgrd/backgroundfile-31411.pdf).  

Now would be a good time for the Committee to reflect on its original decision to contract out cleaning services that create low-wage jobs in some of the City’s most vulnerable communities. 

Instead, the Committee should review this contract, not from the point of view of perpetuating poverty level employment, but instead use this as an opportunity to return workers to decent paying jobs.

Local 79 strongly recommends that the discussions at Government Management Committee should not be about contract renewal, but about contracting these jobs back into the City’s workforce.

 

Yours truly,

Tim Maguire

President

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Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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