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Concern climbs over conceivable cuts to custodial crew

December 16, 2009
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WASECA, MN — The Waseca Public Schools'' 17-person custodial crew is weary of the district''s plan to eliminate two custodians, according to the Waseca County News.
The staff reduction, which would potentially save the school district $80,000 in wages, benefits and other miscellaneous expenditures, would put added responsibilities on the remaining custodians and could result in a reduction of regular services, the story stated.
John Stenzel, who oversees the Waseca Public Schools'' custodial crew, said: "I''m not comfortable with it. You do what you have to do, but the work won''t get done. We''ll look at all areas; we''ll do what we can — the students come first. We all have our challenges."
According to the story, each custodian is responsible for 33,000 square feet of building maintenance, in addition to a rotation schedule for building checks that take roughly 40 minutes to complete.
While the primary role of building checks is to ensure safety and security, most of the issues faced by the custodial crew stem from equipment malfunctions; with fewer custodians to perform the building checks, there is an increased risk of a catastrophic equipment failure costing the district valuable time and money, the story noted.
According to the article, the staff cuts will be determined in January and will be based on seniority.
Stenzel has made his crew aware of the potential cuts and predicts that, because building checks are crucial to safety and security, regular custodial services will ultimately suffer, the story added.
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