Council members disagree with $60K contract to clean city CATS facilities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Creating good-paying jobs is one of the Charlotte City Council’s top priorities. At the City Council meeting on Monday night, council members considered whether to hold contractors who work with the city to that same standard.

The Charlotte City Council ultimately decided at the meeting to spend $60,000 on a contract with 25-27 Cleaning, for the company to clean at four light rail facilities.

Councilmen Braxton Winston and Matt Newton voted against the contract. Winston was concerned because the city said the job pays around $11 or $12 dollars an hour and the livable wage in Charlotte is around $17 per hour.

“This is several families. This is several children impacted,” Winston said.

He argued that the people cleaning the Charlotte Area Transit System trains and buses can’t afford to ride them.

Winston wanted the city to have Solid Waste Services take over the cleaning responsibilities but was told that no one in the department handles such requests.

Councilwoman Lawana Mayfield and Councilman Ed Driggs agreed with Winston.

“I get we have highly qualified staff, but they don't have the employees vacuuming these floors and doing this kind of work,” Mayfield said.

“You need to think this stuff through,” Driggs said.

Winston believes the council could have found a staffing compromise.

“We have figured out more complex personnel issues in the 10 months I've been here,” Winston said.

The current cleaning services contract expired. A vote to defer the decision for two weeks failed.

While council members had the ability to vote on whether to issue the contract, the city attorney said the city of Charlotte has no authority to mandate that contractors provide a certain pay rate.

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