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Janitors get a boost as Palo Alto firms up labor rules

Original post made on Jan 30, 2023

Spurred by allegations of wage theft against the city's janitorial contractor, Palo Alto city leaders agreed on Monday to mandate union wages and collective-bargaining rights for workers who clean city facilities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 30, 2023, 10:50 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Marie
a resident of University South
on Jan 30, 2023 at 11:13 pm

Marie is a registered user.

And will the new more expensive contracts be cheaper than when Palo Alto hired its own janitors? If the companies have to provide the same salary and benefits that Palo Alto did, the price will probably be higher. Maybe they should just bring the function back inhouse and let Palo Alto hire its own janitors.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2023 at 4:37 am

Online Name is a registered user.

When asked about how labor contracts like this have been administered and how this could have slipped through the cracks, the City Manager replied that each department is responsible for ensuring it's done correctly and some might not have the expertise.

Ok. But what will be done to change this or to have a centralized contract review function?

Posted by Barbara G
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 31, 2023 at 3:48 pm

Barbara G is a registered user.

The City of Palo Alto keeps tossing buckets of money at various worthy causes, but meanwhile, those of us struggling along on Social Security are hungry and cold because our utility costs keep going up.

Couldn't the City make reducing expenses a priority instead of hiring expensive contract labor?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2023 at 4:35 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Barbara G, re "couldn't the City make reducing expenses a priority...?"

EXCELLENT question that to my knowledge has never appeared as a priority or as a mission statement or as a goal or as a tactic in any of the city's pronouncements, handbooks, etc. nor has providing cost-effective services.

Golly gee, I wonder why that is. Maybe we should hire some more pollsters who get 0.5% response rates re city priorities and more Communications Staff who don't notify us about the Priority Retreat so only 12 -- TWELVE -- people show up now vs in years past when those retreats got standing room only crowds.

Great that Mental Health is a priority so we don't think these crazy thoughts that our opinions matter.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2023 at 6:12 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

I'm waiting for Transparent California to update their stats so we can see how much the City has raised their income while the janitors get sub-minimum wage pay. As for people on Social Security or fixed low pension ... we have those people here? I thought we only had high paid tech workers here? We are the inventors of silicone. We invented the idea of falsely inflated values. We need to live up to our reputation.

Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2023 at 11:08 am

Grew Up Here is a registered user.

The janitors are doing a terrible job. The downtown parking garage where City Hall is located is atrocious, it's absolutely filthy. The walls need to be power washed. In a conservative city, it would be immaculate. Also, the outdoor elevator is broken so we are forced to risk our safety by using the stairs. The schools grounds are filthy too! The Catholic schools are so immaculate but our public schools might as well be homeless encampments. About 10 years ago, I saw a Duveneck janitor sweeping the red top cement with a large, red dust mop; he then took the mop and wiped the lunch tables, thereby making them dirtier. But his job is protected because of who he is.

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