published Monday, November 18th, 2013

Erlanger moves closer to outsourcing all food and housekeeping services

Erlanger Health System is one step closer to outsourcing all of its food and housekeeping services.

The hospital board's Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved a $12.5 million contract with Aramark Healthcare Support Services to handle all such facility services, meaning 250 Erlanger employees could be moved off of Erlanger's payroll.

However, hospital officials have said all housekeeping and food service employees will keep their jobs under the new contract, as it includes the stipulation Aramark to hire all current Erlanger employees at their current salaries and rank.

Aramark also plans to hire additional employees, hospital officials said.

Employees of Sodexo — the 27-year contractor for a portion of Erlanger's current food services — and other contracted janitorial services will not be guaranteed a job with Aramark.

Three large companies submitted bids for the contract, and six companies submitted bids for housekeeping services. Aramark was the lowest bidder, the hospital said.

The shift is expected to save the hospital about $3 million in both material and personnel costs, officials said, and will bring roughly $10.5 million in capital improvements, like an overhaul of the kitchen.

Locally, Aramark already contracts with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and with Unum.

The hospital's full Board of Trustees will vote on the Aramark contract on Thursday.

For more information, read Tuesday's Times Free Press.

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