Custodial shortage results in added stress for staff

Custodial+shortage+results+in+added+stress+for+staff

Anna Wright

trash
Students can help ease the recent custodial shortage by picking up after themselves during lunch. Because the school custodians are currently understaffed, students are encouraged to pitch in and help maintain a clean school environment. photo by Anna Wright

A shortage of custodians has left current employees picking up extra slack during and after school hours. With multiple custodians away for medical reasons, the school was left severely understaffed. It’s a common problem throughout the school district, assistant principal Brian Gaub said, and the school is in the process of hiring new workers.

“The district often has a shortage of custodians in all of the different buildings,” Gaub said. “We’ve been very fortunate this year that we have been fully staffed most of this year, but right now we have I believe two people out on extended medical, two positions open and then about four of the evening positions are people that have only been working here for a couple weeks.”

More custodians are necessary to help clean the building after school hours, Gaub said. Currently, there are not enough custodians employed to meet the needs of such a large school building.

“Typically during the day we have three people, in the evening we have twelve because the bulk of the cleaning goes on in the evening,” Gaub said. “Right now we are short.”

Custodian Alan Bullock estimated the current number of custodians to be almost half of what is necessary. Because of this, a large number of new applicants are being considered.

“It’s a 13 person building,” Bullock said. “We’re now at seven.”

Gaub said anyone interested in working as a custodian should contact the district. The more potential applicants, the faster the district will be able to re-staff our school building.

“The district is always interviewing and hiring custodians,” Gaub said. “If parents know anyone who would be interested in applying, they can apply on the district website.

In the mean time, Gaub said it is important for students to do their part in keeping the school clean and free of trash. Simply utilizing nearby garbage bins during lunch can significantly ease the custodians’ stress.

“Anything students can do, especially at lunch time to pick up after themselves, will help,” Gaub said. “Keeping things a little bit neater can always be of a benefit.”

Bullock agreed that students play a large role in helping to keep the trash problem at a minimum in the wake of a custodial shortage. Students often fail to realize the amount of time spent by custodians cleaning up messes that could have been prevented, he said.”

“It would help out a lot if most students wouldn’t just leave trash laying everywhere,” Bullock said.
“We have to take that and pick that up.”

In addition to cleaning up trash, Bullock said students should exit school premises after hours to avoid obstructing custodial work. A little bit of assistance and understanding goes a long way, he said.

“There are a lot of students running around that don’t have activities after school and that holds us up too,” Bullock said. “We can’t get halls done because they’re running through the halls. Just a little cooperation will help us out a whole lot.”

by Anna Wright