By Leon Worden / SCVNews.com
County Librarian Margaret D. Todd is asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to approve an initial four-year contract with a janitorial firm for custodial services at 15 county libraries.
Custodial services are currently performed by county employees who are members of the Service Employees International Union.
Most of the 15 libraries are in the first and second supervisorial districts. None is located in the Santa Clarita or Antelope valleys.
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Todd is seeking to put the janitorial services to bid because they “can be performed more economically by an independent contractor than by county employees.”
Janitorial services at the 15 libraries cost the county $323,824 per year when the work is performed by county employees. The annual contract cost with Diamond Contract Services is $257,890.
Figures provided by Todd to the supervisors show that most of the cost differential $45,039 is in county employee benefits. The county is paying $93,007 in annual benefits to its janitorial workers at the 15 libraries, versus Diamond’s cost of $47,968.
Under the contract, Diamond is required to meet the county’s living wage and other employment requirements, including a minimum hourly wage of $9.64 plus $2.20 per hour in health care benefits.
The county put the services to bid in January 2012. Three bids were received; Diamond was selected after another bidder was disqualified and a third was deemed inexperienced.