JCU selects new housekeeping service

April 15th, 2010

Students may have noticed a recent change in the clothing of the housekeeping staff at John Carroll. Green shirts and khaki aprons have replaced the familiar blue shirts. This change in uniform is due to a change in housekeeping companies on campus.

GCA Services, a housekeeping contractor based out of Cleveland, started servicing the campus on April 1.

 The contract with SSC Service Solutions, the previous contractor, expired in 2007, and the contractor has been operating on a month-to-month basis since.

“This was not good for either party,” said Carol Dietz, the associate vice president of facilities. “We were not committed to them for a defined period of time so, in turn, they may not have been investing in the personnel and equipment needed to clean the campus to the level we desired. We decided to go out for bids shortly after housekeeping services was moved under the umbrella of the facilities department in January 2009.”

The search for a new contractor took about six months. 

A housekeeping bid review committee was formed, consisting of several faculty members as well as administrators and staff from residence life, athletics, facilities, purchasing and the finance office.

The committee began by looking at ten companies. These ten were narrowed down to three by November. 

The final three companies made presentations to the committee in December of 2009.

The choice to have GCA Services as the new contractor was made early this year, and a three-year contract, with an option for two additional years, was signed.

“There were some savings primarily due to the current economic conditions and the competitive bid process,” said Dietz.

The monetary details of the contract are confidential and could not be disclosed. 

The switch to GCA also created two new jobs: an administrative assistant and a residence hall housekeeping manager. Rebecca Faletufuga and Derek Lowell have filled the positions, respectively. 

GCA will retain all current employees who are eligible union workers, who were employed by SSC Service Solutions. 

As for the workers who were laid off earlier this year, their future employment is uncertain.

“This will be up to GCA,” said Michael Roeder, the manager of facilities services.

Students and faculty will not be able to see a large change other than the uniforms anytime soon. The cleaning schedule for both dorms and offices will remain the same. Members of the facilities department are looking toward the long run for changes.

“One of the things that GCA will bring is a system for assessing effectiveness,” said Roeder. “Through periodic walkthroughs of the buildings and logging the findings into a database, they will rate the overall cleanliness of areas in hopes to track problem areas and tag them for improvement.”

 Administrators are hoping that the long-term improvements will help keep the campus clean and extend the lives of campus facilities.