With the Nanaimo school district’s Sept. 8 start date fast approaching, fewer workers are preparing schools than in the past.
Seven custodial positions, along with five maintenance and two grounds worker positions, were cut as part of the 2015-16 budget process, meaning an increased workload.
“What they’re doing now, is they’re teaming up,” said Rob Zver, president of CUPE Local 606, the education support workers’ union. “The high schools will still have full staffing for the eight hours because they’re big enough to maintain people in the building, but most of the other elementary schools will be down to two people doing two schools, so they’ll be splitting the timeframe up.”
Zver said the average number of workers per high school varies depending on size.
Because workloads are going to be heavy, there may be things that aren’t always cleaned as regularly, but that will have to be gauged, according to Zver.
The cleaning expectations can’t be determined until it is tested.
“Certain things will not be able to be done all the time, like dusting and stuff, the nature that’s low on the general things, because you have to keep the washrooms, pull garbage, you have to keep that stuff clean because that’s priority,” said Zver.
He said the schools have assigned caretakers and also workers that do areas where there is too much work.
“Then there’s a project crew that also does emergency stuff and other things,” said Zver.
Steve Rae, school district chairman, wasn’t able to respond by press time.