Local News

Custodial workers for Durham schools receive back pay

Posted February 6, 2015

— 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.


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  • 68_dodge_polara Feb 7, 2015

    Wait, Premiere bought Integrity, why pray tell did the school system have to pay them for the same work twice? When a company buys another they inherit the assets as well as the liabilities of the company they bought. As a Durham tax payer I'm so tired of paying for the fiacos that occur because of corruption.

  • 68_dodge_polara Feb 7, 2015

    "Because this group is not in the system of Premiere, communicating with them is difficult without phone numbers and addresses," Ferriell said.

    Because your companies pay so little workers can't afford rent or a phone? Your quite a piece of work Mr. Ferriell. Now tell the truth you never tried to get in touch with these people to pay them. To say the least you could have found most of them every time they protested. But you remained under your rock where you should just stay you shameful person.

  • Greg Boop Feb 7, 2015
    user avatar

    I will give credit to the Durham School System for making this right.

  • Theo Bishop Feb 7, 2015
    user avatar

    This is why we need to have our own custodians in the schools for reasons like this. Also you don't know who is working around our kids because If they are illegal they can't be held accountable for what they may or may not do.

  • shallottemustang Feb 6, 2015

    I don't want to hear anyone over in the Peoples Republic of Durham complain about taxes or not having enough money to pay for teachers. This is crazy.

    Exactly why I would never live there. If the place I lived pulled something like this I would move. I'm not going to support such wasteful and totally irresponsible spending on people who are not even U.S. Citizens.

    Shame on you Durham!!!

  • heelzfan4 Feb 6, 2015

    The organization that should have been there today was Immigration to detain the undocumented workers. And yes, some admitted on TV they were here undocumented.

  • DurhamDevil Feb 6, 2015

    Not being "in the system" is convenient...except for when someone owes you something.

    This is an example of a system this is broken and should be fixed.

  • 50s Child Feb 6, 2015

    View quoted thread


  • wageslave59 Feb 6, 2015

    View quoted thread

    If you are in the country illegally and enter into an illegal employment agreement you have no one to blame but yourself for "working free". What right does an illegal alien have in using the US justice system for redress of grievances. Keep their money and deport them all now! LOL!!!!!!!!!!

  • MinorityWillbeNewMajority Feb 6, 2015

    View quoted thread

    On the last paragraph, you don't have a pedestal to tell others how they should "follow the law". I hear that those laws are so antiquated, it would literally get you a lifetime to things the 'straight and narrow' way. Not defending law breakers, but its one of those areas that "you have to live it to tell it". Its like being a mother. Everyone thinks its easy until they experience it-even when they are a citizen.