Union Fears T Cuts Will Hurt Cleanliness

The board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is expected to approve a package of MBTA cleaning contracts Wednesday that would cut the number of hours spent cleaning train stations, a change that union representatives say will result in overworked janitorial staff and dingy station platforms.

The board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is expected to approve a package of MBTA cleaning contracts Wednesday that would cut the number of hours spent cleaning train stations, a change that union representatives say will result in overworked janitorial staff and dingy station platforms.

The contracts with two companies, ABM Industries and S.J. Services, would cut the total number of janitorial workers by 29 percent in 2014, reducing the hours of service performed at T stations across the system by 25 percent.

T officials are hoping they can maintain the same level of cleanliness for less money. But union officials say they do not think that is possible.

In a June 6 letter to MBTA general manager Beverly A. Scott, the president of SEIU Local 615, the union that represents the affected workers, said the contracts would be disastrous for janitorial workers and would result in declining cleanliness at MBTA stations.

“The proposals include extreme and unprecedented eliminations of jobs and cuts in hours,” wrote Rocio Saenz, the union president. “The current bid would harm workers while jeopardizing the quality of the MBTA’s cleaning services.”