Krista T

CUPE 4165
Frank J Mitchell Elementary and
Sparwood Secondary School
Custodian, 3 years

It’s very hard to clean my areas in the short time that I have – only four hours at each school. The only way I can get my work done is to not take my breaks. I’ve been doing this since I started. It’s hard, but I don’t want to let down the teachers at the elementary school, or the kids. If I don’t vacuum or I don’t get a room swept or done, they’re coming into a dirty school. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place because if I take my break, things don’t get done.

It’s normally a two-minute walk to get to the secondary school, but in the fall when the bears are hungry I drive all the way around. I also drive in the winter, when it’s minus 30 outside.

I think the biggest improvement they could make for custodians is to bring dayshift custodians back into elementary schools. It’s huge because a lot gets missed now. We have to try to catch up when we get there in the afternoon. We need more staff.

The square footage formula with so many square feet each custodian has to clean does not work. For example, the Art Room takes a huge chunk of time. In our elementary schools every classroom has at least two area rugs. You need to vacuum and then sweep and then mop. And when there’s any extra mess in the bathrooms that takes more of your time.

It’s going to be really hard, or interesting, to see what happens when schools get extra classrooms, but no extra custodians. My area at the elementary school is getting a whole new classroom. That means 24 more desks that I have to clean and work around. This room used to be for student services, so it just had a couple of tables and didn’t take me that long to clean. Now it will take a lot more of my time.

Our high school is used a lot in the evening. It’s a constant, open door. There’s soccer, basketball, Brownies. It’s constant, year-round and there’s extra cleaning to do. The gym isn’t my area, but the kids are using my bathroom and they’re down the hallways. A lot of kids using the open door aren’t part of the groups going on. There needs to be more supervision for afterschool activities. When the gym is being rented out, the principals should be here to supervise.