Custodial workers for Durham schools receive back pay
Posted February 6, 2015
Durham, N.C. — The last of more than 140 custodial employees for Durham Public Schools received back wages Friday, after weeks of concerns that they might not get paid for work they did last fall.
For its cleaning needs, the school system pays a company called Service Solutions, which subcontracted Integrity Facilities Management – the custodians' former employer.
But Integrity filed for bankruptcy, leaving the employees unpaid for their services between Oct. 16 and Nov. 5.
Even though the workers are not school system employees, the Durham school board last month approved a measure to pay an additional $200,000 in wages to Premiere – the company that bought Integrity.
About 100 former Integrity employees who went to work for Premiere had been paid, but those who didn't rallied outside the school system's administrative offices Friday morning, expressing frustration and concerns that they were purposely not being paid because they are Latino and undocumented.
"It's not fair what they are doing just to us Latinos," Blanca Vasquez said. "There are people here who are in need. They have sick kids, and they have to pay their rent, their bills, and they're late."
Service Solutions President Seth Ferriell, however, said the delay had to do with the workers not staying on with Premiere.
"Because this group is not in the system of Premiere, communicating with them is difficult without phone numbers and addresses," Ferriell said.