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Over-billing, hiring woes nix contract

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Friday, February 23, 2018

A janitorial services company serving Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools has lost a multi-million dollar contract for violating personnel laws, over-billing the school district and failing to meet performance expectations, according to documents obtained by the Telegram.

The Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education voted earlier to end its contract with SSC Service Solutions after working nearly four years with the company. The school district has been paying the company more than $190,000 a month for custodial services for 37 buildings owned by the school district. That contract will end on March 30, which will affect 105 employees, most of whom will likely be hired by the yet-unnamed company that the school district will hire to replace these services beginning in April.

As part of the termination process, the school district is asking that SSC Service Solutions refund the school district $41,610.06 for “unauthorized over-billing” based on a 1.2 percent increase that the company claimed was related to a rise in the Consumer Price Index. The school district argues that this increase was never approved in writing and that they have been overpaying the company $2,311.67 a month since July 2016.

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools also stated in the termination document that an SSC manager had placed a custodial worker on a school campus without the required and contracted background checks, including criminal check, sex offender registry check or E-verify work authorization check, and was paying the individual “cash under the table.”

“This practice violated applicable state and federal law and exposed the district to liability,” the document stated. According to the letter, a representative of SSC Service Solutions admitted on June 1 that this practice had occurred.

In addition, the school district claims that the custodial company had been the cause of numerous complaints, primarily regarding lack of communication and the “failure to fill custodial staff vacancies within a reasonable time period.”

The Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education is already working to find a new vendor to take over the custodial contract. That contract will likely be approved at the next school board meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. March 5 in the media center of Red Oak Middle School in Red Oak.

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