Workloads for cleaning at York being evaluated

Cleaning York’s 70 buildings, 650 washrooms and over three million square feet of floor space is a big job, but just how the task is accomplished is currently being evaluated by Custodial Services along with the Custodial Workload Committee.

Individual workload assignments for cleaning are being initiated and evaluated along with service level standards, in accordance with the Association of Physical Plant Administrators’ (APPA) guidelines, by Custodial Services in conjunction with the Custodial Workload Committee. The APPA is a North American professional organization dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of institutions and their facilities. The APPA custodial services model of tasks and frequency levels provides a baseline standard for educational facilities, although there may be anomalies within an institution.

"All University spaces have been mapped and defined into categories which allow for an assessment of service levels given current available resources," said Bob Smith, director of Custodial, Grounds & Glendon Facilities Services. "This exercise will provide the York community with a consistent, measurable and predictable service in support of the academic and organizational mission of the University."

The objective is to standardize individual employee workloads and to adjust and monitor the current use of resources for custodial work relative to performance, quality, capability and cost; to provide a baseline cleaning level; and to subsequently identify what is needed to sustain that level. Using custodial workloading software, which maps spaces and sizes for all academic buildings, an objective and professional allocation of available resources can be made to provide a consistent, predictable and accountable service to the community.

There are five levels of service within the APPA model. Level 1 is the cleanest, which is similar to the cleanliness standard of a hospital. Currently, York’s overall service is at level 4 but includes all washrooms and eating areas mapped at level 2. In keeping with level 4, garbage collection at the University has been reduced to twice a week in most office areas, but washrooms, common areas, classrooms, kitchenettes and lounges, which are considered at level 2, are cleaned daily. Smith anticipates the twice-a-week garbage collection will remain with ongoing education to the community about bringing "wasteless lunches" to work to cut down on the amount of organic waste. "The deskside waste receptacle is becoming a dinosaur even at York, an inefficient means of personal waste disposal."

Following feedback regarding workload, frequencies and other variables by custodial services employees, along with a look at available resources, the APPA model may be revised to create a "York Standard".

The evaluation period for the Custodial Workload Initiative ended on July 1 with adjustments being made until Aug. 1. By Sept. 1, Custodial Services will be well on the way to the establishment of a "York Standard".

To view space descriptions and corresponding frequency levels, visit the Campus Services and Business Operations Web site and look for Custodial Services.