District gets money for custodians

LACCD has set aside $1 million from its contingency reserve for the maintenance and operations of its nine junior colleges.

No money has been distributed to the junior colleges in the district as of yet.  A formula for distribution of the funds will be decided on during the Dec 8th meeting of the District Budget Committee (DBC).

Pierce College has received many complaints about the state of cleanliness of its restrooms and classrooms.  Supplies for the bathrooms including toilet paper, seat covers, and paper towels are in short supply and students complain about the cleanliness of their classrooms according to Paul Nieman the director of college facilities.

“We’ve added all this square footage but the colleges haven’t put together a plan to maintain the buildings,” said Ken Takeda the vice president of administrative affairs.

The additional funds being used represent a one-time funding because the money comes from a surplus of cash in LACCD’s unrestricted general fund.  Other money has also been allocated for use in the district including $750 thousand for utilities.

Janitors are in short supply at Pierce College.  Pierce needs 26 custodians to properly clean the campus on any given day but is only budgeted for 24.

Several janitors are often absent from work on any given day.  There are several reasons a custodian can call into work including illness, vacation or accidents.  If a custodian doesn’t show up to work they don’t get paid but their work is still left undone.

Custodians at Pierce College are divided up into two shifts.  The early shift is in charge of the majority of cleaning while the late shift is in charge of spot cleaning and moving equipment.

There are several reasons Pierce College restrooms are often left unsanitary including misuse and abuse by students.

“We have outside groups that come in and trash the restrooms,” said Nieman.

The library department chair is pleased with the custodian that has been assigned to work in her building.

“We’re happy with the person we have,” said Florence Robin the library department chair.  “She does a very good job, but she is often taken out of the library to work on other buildings.”

The director of the student health center Beth Benne however, tells a different story.

“The health center needs to be cleaned every day,” said Benne

When a health emergency arises such as a blood spill the custodians are quick to respond, but the day to day cleaning suffers badly.

“We’ve had a high turnover rate for people assigned to the health center,” said Benne.

To report maintenance emergencies call Plant Facilities 818-719-6441 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  After 4:30 p.m. call the Sheriffs department.