Custodial Crusader, Custodial Services, San Diego Unified Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten, SDUSD Trustee John Lee Evans, SDUSD Trustee Kevin Beiser, SDUSD Trustee Mike McQuary, SDUSD Trustee Richard Barrera, SDUSD Trustee Sharon Whitehurst -Payne
This is Custodial Crusader again. The last time I wrote an article for District Deeds, I discussed the horrors that would come about if custodial coverage was cut by the San Diego Unified School District, including increases in vermin infestation and disease. Cindy Martin and the School Board didn’t listen and didn’t care as they carried out their disastrous cuts anyways. District Deeds proved my point in their recent article showing pictures of dead rats, used condoms, and lots of trash on school grounds: Whistleblower Custodial Crusader “Horrors” Prediction Coming True – Dead Rats, Drug Paraphernalia, Used Condoms and Filth On San Diego Unified Campus!!!!
Is this what Cindy Martin, School Board President Richard Barrera, and School Board members Kevin Beiser, John Lee Evans, Michael McQuary, and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne mean by “a quality school in every neighborhood”?
If so, then BUCKLE UP because the HORRORS are only beginning as Cindy Martin and the School Board continue to expose students, parents, and staff members to dangerous diseases while abusing custodians and other employees and violating their union rights ALL AT THE SAME TIME! In Part 1 of this 3-part report, I will discuss how their disastrous cuts impact schools in the following ways:
Classrooms Are Only Being Cleaned Only Once A Week At Most School Sites.
Cindy Martin and the Board have recently laid off around 65 night custodians by reducing total night custodial cleaning time at most school sites by 4 hours per day per school. Since areas such as restrooms and cafeterias must continue to be cleaned daily, something has to be sacrificed. And that sacrifice is in the form of less frequent cleaning of classrooms. Over 5 years ago, prior to 2008, classrooms at most schools were cleaned every other day on an AB schedule.
Then, around 2008, the District laid off approximately 65 custodians resulting in classrooms being cleaned less frequently on an ABC schedule. On an ABC schedule, classrooms would be cleaned only once every third day with a 2-day gap in between cleanings.
This was already infrequent enough and prevented the possibility of a fully clean school site, especially with new initiatives added like serving breakfasts in the classroom.
Now, with the custodial cuts, just about every classroom at every school, even at small elementary schools, ARE ONLY BEING CLEANED ONCE EVERY FOURTH DAY on an ABCD schedule.
To give you an idea of how infrequent and horrible this is, below is a grid to better explain the cleaning schedules the District uses:
|AB||1 Day Gap In Between Cleanings||If there are 5 rooms to be cleaned, 3 of the smallest rooms will be cleaned one day while the other 2 larger rooms are be cleaned the following day. For example, Rooms 1, 2, and 3 will get cleaned on Monday. Rooms 4 and 5 will get cleaned on Tuesday. Rooms 1, 2, and 3 will be cleaned again on Wednesday while Rooms 4 and 5 will be cleaned again on Thursday. This process will repeat.
THIS WAS THE SCHEDULE UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 2008
|ABC||2 Day Gap In Between Cleanings||If there are 5 rooms to be cleaned, 2 rooms will be cleaned the first day, 2 different rooms will be cleaned the second day, and the last and largest room will be cleaned the third day. For example, Rooms 1 and 2 will be cleaned on Monday. Rooms 3 and 4 will be cleaned on Tuesday. Room 5 will be cleaned on Wednesday. Rooms 1 and 2 will be cleaned again on Thursday. Rooms 3 and 4 will be cleaned again on Friday. Room 5 will be cleaned again the following Monday. This process will repeat.
THIS WAS THE SCHEDULE FROM 2008 THROUGH 2016/2017 SCHOOL YEAR
|ABCD||3 Day Gap In Between Cleanings||If there are 5 rooms to be cleaned, 2 of the smallest rooms will be cleaned the first day, a different room will be cleaned the second day, a different room will be cleaned the third day, and the last room will be cleaned the fourth day. For example, Rooms 1 and 2 will be cleaned on Monday. Room 3 will be cleaned on Tuesday. Room 4 will be cleaned on Wednesday. Room 5 will be cleaned on Thursday. Rooms 1 and 2 will be cleaned again on Friday. Room 3 will be cleaned again the following Monday. Room 4 will be cleaned again the following Tuesday. Room 5 will be cleaned again the following Wednesday. This process will repeat.
THIS IS THE (at best) SCHEDULE TODAY
Here is an example of how it works:
Let’s say last school year there were three night custodians working at School Site A named Bob, Harold, And Martha. This school site possessed 90 classrooms total. Bob, Harold, and Martha previously each worked a total of 8 hours a day at this site giving it a total of 24 hours of custodial cleaning time each night. They were each responsible for the cleaning of 1/3 of the classrooms at that school site, or 30 total on their ABC cleaning schedule. This amounted to 10 classrooms per night per custodian. All three custodians cleaned 30 classrooms total each night, and, according to the grid above, a classroom had a gap of no more than two days before it was cleaned again.
Having classrooms go for 2 days before being cleaned again is bad enough as it is…but now here comes Cindy Martin and the School Board to screw things up even further!
In their “infinite” wisdom, they decide to lay off around 65 night custodians in addition to the approximately 65 custodians they laid off in 2008. They make up for this shortfall by turning many custodians into “split-site” custodians by having each one work the first 4 hours of their shift at one school site and then the next 4 hours at another school site.
Let’s say Martha is made a split-site custodian by the District whether she likes it or not. Being she can only work at School Site A for 4 hours now, she no longer has enough time to clean all the restrooms and classrooms that she was assigned to clean previously on her ABC schedule there. Since restrooms must be cleaned every day, Bob and Harold also don’t have enough time to clean all of their classrooms on their ABC schedules there anymore either because they now have to use part of their 8-hour shifts to clean Martha’s restrooms.
Cindy Martin and the Board DON’T CARE about this problem!
They just mandate that classrooms become EVEN FILTHIER by going 3-4 days now before they are cleaned again by forcing just about all school sites to adopt an ABCD cleaning schedule!
It’s not like they have to spend any time in those classrooms enduring all the filth like the students, parents, teachers, custodians, and other staff members have to. Why should they care? No problem for them! Just a FILTHY UNSANITARY ENVIRONMENT and DISEASE EPIDEMIC for everyone else!
BUT IT GETS WORSE!
What impacts schools even more is that if any custodian is absent, classrooms will get cleaned EVEN LESS than on an every 4 day, ABCD schedule.
Because of the District’s outrageous policy of not providing enough substitute and relief custodians to fill in for custodians who are absent due to illness or for some other reason they will be cleaned on a 5 day ABCDE or a six-day ABCDEF schedule, LESS THAN ONCE A WEEK!
I have learned from custodians working at large school sites, especially middle and high schools, that they rarely or never get substitute custodial coverage if one of them is absent.
I have learned from sources the reason for this:
On any given night, the District only has approximately enough relief and substitute custodians to fill custodial absences at small school sites that have 1-2 nighttime custodians maximum working there. Since these smaller school sites are given priority for substitute coverage already, the larger school sites with 2 or more custodians often have to do without substitute custodial coverage and are left to suffer even more as a result!
There are vague rumors that the School District may be rehiring some minimal number of the custodians that were laid off due to the custodial cuts. However, this will NOT rectify what Cindy Martin and the Board have done and here is why.
Around 50 lead custodians, crew leaders, senior crew leaders, and custodial supervisors retired recently. (The lead custodians are called Building Services Supervisors 1’s or 2’s (or BSS 1’s or 2’s).
Despite their misleading titles, a BSS is NOT a supervisor! They are lead custodians who usually work during the daytime during school hours without any supervisory authority. They tend to work at most elementary schools and some small middle schools.
Crew Leaders are lead custodians that work at night at many large elementary schools and middle schools. They oversee and lead night custodial crews and have the same ranking as BSS 1’s.
Senior Crew Leaders oversee and lead night custodial crews at larger middle schools and high schools. They have the same rank as BSS 2’s. Just like with BSS 1’s and 2’s, neither Crew Leaders nor Senior Crew Leaders are actual supervisors.
Custodial Supervisors are Building Services Supervisor 3’s (BSS 3’s) and Plant Operation Supervisors (POS’). They are actual supervisors of custodians and tend to work during the daytime school hours at most middle and high schools.
Due to BSS’, Crew Leaders, Senior Crew Leaders, and POS’ retiring, around 50 of these positions were left vacant and had to be filled. Since the BSS 1 and Crew Leader position is the next position up and the next promotion from the night custodial position, a large number of these positions were filled by night custodians who survived the recent cuts and were promoted into these positions. This has resulted in more custodial positions becoming vacant AFTER approximately 65 custodians were recently cut in the first place! The District is only going to hire back enough recently laid off night custodians to fill night custodial positions left vacant by custodians promoting into the higher BSS and Crew Leader positions.
It will not rehire enough laid off custodians and hire enough new custodians to get the cleaning schedules at most school sites back up to the previous ABC standard!
Here is an example:
A School District in California has a total night custodial work force of 200 custodians.
The School District decides to lay off 50 of those night custodians leaving a total workforce of 150.
At around the same time the 50 night custodians get laid off, 20 lead custodians retire. To fill those 20 lead custodian positions, 20 of the 150 night custodians are promoted to fill those vacancies reducing the night custodial workforce to 130.
To get back to it’s previous number of 200 before the night custodial cuts, the District would need to rehire the 50 that it initially laid off plus 20 spots of those that were promoted for 70 total re-hires.
But instead of rehiring 70, the District only chooses to rehire only 20, still leaving 50 night custodial positions vacant.
This scenario is similar to what the San Diego Unified School District is doing now which brings us to…
School Sites With Only One Night Custodian Are REALLY Suffering!
When cutting custodial staff, Cindy Martin and the School Board decided to turn more custodians into split-site workers who divide their 8-hour shift evenly between 2 school sites instead of working all those hours at only one site. This has had disastrous consequences for ALL school sites, but especially for those sites with only one night custodian assigned to them to begin with.
The Night Custodian Has Only 4 Hours Now To Clean And Service An Entire School Site!
It’s hard enough cleaning and tending to the needs of an entire school site in 8 hours. Imagine doing so in just 4 hours? This includes
a.) dumping ALL the trash
b.) cleaning ALL the restrooms
c.) cleaning the cafeteria and kitchen
d.) locking up and securing EVERY door and window
e.) rushing to clean up ANY emergency vomit and diarrhea spills and
f.) cleaning AS MANY classrooms as possible with what little time is left! Talk about a TIME CRUNCH!
How is it responsible for Cindy Martin and the School Board to expect classrooms at these school sites to be cleaned even as frequently as once a week given so little time?
How is it responsible for Cindy Martin and the School Board to expect restrooms and cafeterias at these school sites to be cleaned adequately every day given so little time?
The answer is obvious.
It’s because Cindy Martin and this School Board NEVER accept responsibility OR accountability for their incompetence!
The Daytime Custodian No Longer Has Enough Time To Do Their Own Custodial Duties
I have learned that at some of these school sites, the daytime lead custodian, known as a Building Services Supervisor (BSS), often doesn’t have enough time to perform their own custodial duties anymore because they have to clean classrooms in the early morning hours that the night custodian use to clean the previous night before the cuts.
This is problematic because teachers often need full access to their classrooms during the early morning hours before their students arrive to prepare their lesson plans and such.
This is also problematic because it cuts into time for other BSS duties such as cleaning up after early morning Primetime programs and other daycare programs. (These before-and-after school programs are generally for elementary and middle school students who can’t be dropped off or picked up right before or right after their normal school hours due to those hours conflicting with their parents’ work schedules or for other reasons.)
Also, because BSS’ often pick up litter throughout the school grounds during their work shifts, taking on night custodial duties leaves them with less time to inspect school grounds and make sure they are free of those dangerous and unsanitary used condoms, drug needles, and dead rats photographed and discussed in the recent District Deeds article posted above!
Special Needs Classrooms Are REALLY Being Neglected
Many schools with only one night custodian have very vulnerable Special Needs student populations. Due to the needs of these students, often the classrooms and the restrooms they use need more frequent cleaning, attention, and repairs because of frequent vomiting and diarrhea incidents along with scattered food debris and juice spills. However, it is nearly impossible for a single night custodian to give these areas the attention they need when they are only given 4 hours to clean and tend to an entire school site.
No Custodial Coverage Is Being Provided For Saturday School Events!
As I stated in my last article, at the present time, at a large number of school sites, Saturday School events are NOT being staffed by custodial personnel. The fact that students and staff members are present on campus grounds dirtying classrooms and restrooms while generating trash, including food waste, doesn’t factor into the equation.
It seems as if school site management doesn’t see the need (or don’t have the approval) by Marten to have a custodian on call to:
a.) Service a restroom right away should it run out of essential items like toilet paper during a Saturday School event.
b.) Dump trash and clean up all areas in use immediately after the event ends so that all the trash, food, and human bodily waste doesn’t wait until the following Monday to then be cleaned up by the custodial staff
c.) Be sure that there is no food and trash scattered all over school grounds those following Mondays from animals looking for a meal for almost 2 whole days while depositing their urine and feces everywhere.
d.) Be sure that restrooms don’t have an overwhelming stench of urine and feces on their floors and their toilets.
e.) Be sure that there is no stench that attracts hungry cockroaches and other vermin.
I learned from sources that recently District-level management was informed of this problem and mandated that Saturday School events should receive some level of custodial staffing. However, despite District-level mandates, again, a large number of school sites, to this day, there is still NO custodial coverage for Saturday School events!
It seems as if many school principals and other school site managers are either ignorant of or ignoring District-level orders and still not staffing their Saturday School events with custodians.
This is both DISGUSTING and SHAMEFUL on the part of school site management and negligent enforcement by Cindy Martin and the school Board for not taking every step to avoid their school sites from becoming and remaining filthy magnets for vermin infestation and disease!
Coming up next: Part 2:
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