Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Janitors share the dirt on new program

August 23, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — Janitors at the University of Minnesota say new cuts to the janitorial staff will result in a dirtier campus, according to the Pioneer Press.

The university recently unveiled an overhauled custodial program, with leaner janitor ranks and a new team cleaning approach, the article stated.

According to the article, while administrators proclaim the new program will save nearly $3 million a year, the union representing custodians is questioning their prediction, resulting in tense contract negotiations.

"The size of the budget challenge for us required significant changes," said Mike Berthelsen, the associate vice president for facilities management.

"And any time you make big changes, there will be challenges," Berthelsen added.

A team of custodians will each perform a specific task in cleaning a larger area, while the university believes this will save janitors time, the janitors believe the change takes away a sense of connection and ownership to a specific area of the school, the article noted.

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