In a 14-7-1 vote, the Portage County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, July 17, to privatize the housekeeping services at the Portage County Health Care Center, a process that will likely be completed by the end of the year.
The Board authorized awarding a four-year housekeeping contract to BSG Maintenance, a private company out of West Bend. County staff estimates the move will save the county $536,464 over the four years of the contract.
The privatization move comes at the expense of housekeeping staff, whose wages and benefits will be cut. BSG will pay starting housekeepers $9.15 an hour, compared to the current $12.46 an hour starting wage. On average, the county paid housekeepers $14.32 per hour in 2010. The 2010 benchmark for a government facility for housekeeping was $13.20 per hour, and the 2010 benchmark for rural facilities, which the Portage County Health Care Center is considered, was $10.87 per hour.