By Olin Ericksen
March 13 -- Weeks after Pier officials and City
employees asked the City Council to bring custodial services
in-house at the historic structure, a City staff report recommends
continuing to contract out the work.
While council members will ultimately decide the issue Tuesday,
City staff warned that it would cost 55 percent more for the
City to hire the employees needed to do the work.
"Over the last year, City staff, the Pier Restoration
Corporation and Pier tenants have expressed a rising level
of dissatisfaction with the contracted custodial services,"
states the staff report.
Despite such concerns the cost is too high for City staff
to recommend changing the current policy, according to the
"The recommendation continues the past 11-year practice
of contracting for Pier janitorial services and is consistent
with a policy of supplementing, rather than supplanting, permanent
City positions," the report said.
While Pier officials said they believe the City could afford
hiring part-time employees, City staff suggested the actual
cost would be hire because supervisors would need to be assigned
"If City staff were to take on this function, staff
would hire permanent, full-time employees and a crew supervisor
to achieve reliable and consistent coverage, which would result
in greater costs than the PRC estimated," the report
Staff estimated the cost at $302,632 for base services, with
another $40,000 in contingency fees to contract services out
for the next year, with two year renewal options.
Considering staffing, overhead and supervision, it could
cost more than $470,000 to add the janitorial staff to the
"Staff's review showed that the selective use of contracted
services allows for more effective and efficient use of existing
employees," said the report.
Since 2002, LA Cha was the main company contracted by the
City for pier services. The contract, however, was discontinued
last July because of the company could not afford to provide
such services under the City's new living wage requirement,
staff said in the report.
LA Cha has agreed to continue to provide custodial services
on an interim basis until a formal bidding process is completed.