The plant manager of Panorama High School shows off a new electrostatic sprayer cleaning machine during a campus tour on March 10, 2021. (Kyle Stokes/LAist)

By LAist

Originally published April 8, 2021 

The L.A. Unified School District plans to hire 1,100 new, temporary custodians — which amounts to at least one extra custodian for every district campus.

These temporary workers will help fulfill LAUSD’s promises to keep campuses clean as they begin to reopen. (The first wave of elementary campuses reopen this week.)

The district has pledged to ensure staff wipe down every classroom between rotating groups of students. LAUSD has also said staff will disinfect every restroom and high-touch surface in the school hourly.

“It is a daunting task,” said Max Arias, executive director of SEIU Local 99, the union that represents LAUSD custodians:

“If you don’t increase staff to do the work appropriately, there’s going to be injuries, the work’s not going to get done appropriately.”

But Arias said LAUSD does seem committed to hiring the additional custodians. SEIU Local 99 is still negotiating with the district over the fine details of the cleaning regimen.

As part of the agreement with the union, the district may fill its need for temporary custodians by contracting with outside cleaning companies.


This report is reprinted with permission from Southern California Public Radio. © 2021 Southern California Public Radio. All rights reserved.

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