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CCSD custodians voice concerns about working through shutdown

Posted at 9:54 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 01:28:21-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — CCSD custodians reported back to work this week, and many are voicing concerns about their health and ability to follow CDC guidelines on the job.

"Why are we here," asked one long-time CCSD custodian. "If everything is cleaned and disinfected like they told us to do, why are we here now?"

We agreed to allow the custodian, who's been with the district more than a decade, to speak anonymously because he said he fears he'll lose his job for speaking out.

"I don't know what the other custodians where they've been, what they've been doing just like they don't what I've been doing," he said. "Every now and then you have a teacher that pops in, you don't know what they've been doing and they're not supposed to be here. It doesn't make any sense to me."

In a statement, CCSD said, "The safety and health of our employees remain our top priority. Special arrangements, such as limiting the number of custodians per school per shift, have been set in place to adhere to social distancing and other health guidance provided by health authorities on COVID-19."

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The custodian said his team members now have staggered start times, and only half the staff are in the building on any given day.

Still, Lisa Guzman, executive director of the Education Support Employees Association, said the vice president of the union visited a high school Friday where she saw social distancing as an issue.

"It looks like it's difficult for people to keep the six-foot distance when they're in a building because everyone has a job to do. And everyone is doing their job, but they're unable to keep that six-foot distance," said Guzman.

Guzman said while she will continue pushing for a safe work environment, these custodians are essential employees, even when students are not in the building.

"There are still folks in the building," she said. "They come into the building and they work within the building and so the custodians are having to clean up after them. They have to empty the garbage, sanitize the bathrooms, so there are folks that are still working within the buildings."

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An office manager at a middle school said she is more concerned than ever for the health and safety of support staff after a food service worker died of COVID-19 this week.

"It shows that they have no care at all, that they're not worried about any of the custodians," she said. "To me, it says they're not caring about their lives or their family's lives."