CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Schools across Corpus Christi ISD are facing a shortage of custodians. Those currently working as employees of the custodial staff are being asked to take on a workload that some teachers say is “humanly impossible”.
Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers President Nancy Vera said this isn’t the first time this has occurred, either.
“About six years ago, there was a shortage of custodians, and teachers were having to sweep their classrooms or pick up in their classrooms to make up for the shortage,” she says.
Vera says educators are once again helping out the custodians by sweeping and cleaning their classrooms. Some are even helping out with the school bathrooms as well.
“Teachers are professionals, custodians are professionals," she said. "And when were short on custodians, that means that the other custodians have to pick up the slack."
She says many schools within the district are sharing custodians, and some high schools only have one person for the entire school one or two days a week.
“So they don’t have time and they don’t have the person-power to be able to clean the schools adequately,” she said.
CCISD serves nearly 35,000 students at 57 campuses within 68 sq. mi., according to its website. The custodial staff is responsible for keeping all of this clean.
KRIS 6 News reached out to CCISD for a statement, and this was its response:
“Student and staff safety are top priorities at CCISD. Throughout the pandemic, our dedicated custodial staff has worked diligently to provide enhanced cleaning service at our schools. Each school continues to be sanitized daily.
Like districts nationwide, CCISD is experiencing a custodial staffing shortage. Our custodial staff includes 303 employees, and we are seeking 50 additional custodians. As we work through this challenge, we will continue to adjust staffing schedules and worksite locations as needed, and are grateful for our substitute custodians who are also helping us during this time.
We are actively recruiting employees, and look forward to the return of in-person job fairs that are so helpful in the recruiting and hiring process.
Additional details regarding our COVID-prevention cleaning practices may be found in our reopening guide.
We thank everyone for their support and patience throughout the pandemic as we work to provide clean, safe learning and working environments for our students and staff.”