Unannounced Inspection Reveals Custodians Not Doing their Jobs in City Schools
(6/24/2010) (NEW HAVEN)— During a recent, unannounced inspection of selected school facilities during an evening shift, 82 percent of the custodians at the schools that were inspected were found to either not be working or watching the NBA Game 7 final on television. On June 17, 2010, 17 custodians were scheduled to be working. However, of the 17, only 1 employee was confirmed to be actually doing their job. During this review, 2 employees could not be located until the end of their shift so it could not be confirmed whether they were or were not working. In many locations, trash had not been emptied, bathrooms not clean and restocked, lights were left on and a custodian left the school without permission and did not note this on his timesheet. As a result, 14 of the 17 employees on duty 82% will receive disciplinary action.
“On numerous occasions, complaints from staff and parents have been received about trash, bathrooms, lights being left on, windows left open, doors not being secured and members of the custodial staff are leaving their assignments without authorization,” said William Clark, Chief Operating Officer for New Haven Public Schools. “This is not what our students, staff and community deserve. Our schools should be clean, safe and welcoming but that’s not the work product we’re receiving from far too many of our custodial staff. We set out to inspect what was happening in our schools in the evening and found these disturbing incidents.”
This activity has become representative of the type of insubordination and ineffectiveness of the current custodial corps of New Haven Public Schools. The results of this proactive inspection were reviewed with the supervisory union employees who responded with an apathetic attitude and were disinterested in the need to enforce rules to achieve acceptable industry level standards of cleanliness in New Haven Public schools. In fact, when the union supervisor was advised that staff had not emptied the trash, that bathrooms had not been clean and restocked, lights were left on, windows left open, etc. and that the staff was observed watching television 30 minutes prior to the end of their shift, response he attempted to justify the behavior with the fact that the NBA finals were on television and “it was only 30 minutes prior.”
If the 110 employees on the custodial night shift of New Haven Public School facilities did not work for 30 minutes such the cost to New Haven Public Schools would be well over $386,000 annually. At any one time, 25 percent of New Haven Public School custodians are absent from work resulting in a $2.2 million additional expense to the City.
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