Rochester Board of Education members listened this week to representatives of GCA Services Group as they detailed first-month report cards and future plans for the custodial services company.
Last spring leaders of Rochester Schools approved the outsourcing of custodian and partial ground services to save the disctrict money. The school district's contract with GCA Services is for three years and is estimated to save the district $7 million.
Monthly report cards
Each school principal is asked to fill out a nine-point evaluation of GCA services, GCA senior regional manager Patrick McDonough explained Monday night. The evaluation takes place monthly. The evaluation includes cleanliness of all areas of the school including the exterior and trash removal, as well as customer service and overall happiness with service.
GCA Services scored an aggregate average of 84.43 percent for their first month of service in September. Rochester High School received the lowest rating with 75 percent. University Hills Elementary received the highest with 96.11 percent.
One Rochester High School parent addressed the board to say during curriculum night at the school the floors were wet from mopping but caution signs had not been put out. She also said, " A janitor interrupted my student's sixth hour class during curriculum night to ask about recycling." She continued that the teacher then took valuable parent time to answer him.
(For a full listing of schools and their ratings, read: "Rochester Schools Rate Custodians: See How Your School Compares")
McDonough said the company goal is a district average of 95 percent by February 2013. Constant support from the regional standpoint to mentor and work with managment and employees would be key in reaching that goal, he said, as well as communication.
As part of the presentation, McDonough explained GCA's background process:
- GCA Services Group is fully compliant with Public Act 131 of 2005, which requires all Local School Districts, Intermediate School Districts, Public School Academies, Nonpublic Schools, Employment Agencies or Contractors to be fingerprinted and conduct a federal criminal history record search and be identified as a Michigan School Employee.
- Once an employee is fingerprinted the fingerprint is stored electronically by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. If an employee has an additional offense, the Michigan State Police are required by law to notify the Michigan Department of Education, which is required to notify the employer of an offense.
Training and turnover
In the three-month period of July 1-Oct. 1, GCA Services had 33 out of the 104 Rochester employees leave the company. The largest percent, 46 percent, cited "personal reasons," another 39 percent were categorized as no call/no show, 12 percent took new jobs and the remaining 3 percent left due to company policies.
"Our national turnover rate after 90 days is 12.5 percent," McDonough said, "We get employees that want to try it but find out it's not their cup of tea."
GCA Services training includes a four-hour seminar that covers safety regulations, human resources and do's and don'ts of the job.
"The seminar is also part evaluation to gain insight to employees' attitudes," McDonough said.
Employees then move on to a large environment, usually a high school, where they shadow an experienced worker. Training includes two more days of taking on more responsibilities as the training progresses.
"I know this has been a very large undertaking," Board President Jennifer Berwick said. "We appreciate the hard work and recognize there is more work to do."