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Office cleaning to be reduced; fees to be levied for indoor event services

By Dave Jones on June 19, 2009 in University

The budget crisis is hitting UC Davis from top to bottom, right down to the floor in your office.

Starting July 1, the Buildings and Grounds division will reduce office cleaning from twice a week to once a week, and will no longer strip and wax floors on an annual basis (except for the first-floor lobby level).

Also, the division will start charging for indoor event services, which include cleaning and other chores to put the event space back in its original condition, and managing the waste. The fees start at $31 per hour — the same recharge rate that Buildings and Grounds already has in place for additional services beyond the routine.

Sal Genito, director of Buildings and Grounds, said in a June 15 memo to departments and student groups: “We are hopeful the fees are minimal enough not to present a barrier to your activities.”

The fees will not apply to events that are held in places like the Memorial Union, the Activities and Recreation Center, and the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center, where custodial service is included in the rental fees.

Buildings and Grounds already charges for setting up for outdoor events and cleaning up after them — starting at $45 per hour — and those fees will stay the same.

Regular custodial services

Officials said Buildings and Grounds will continue to give top priority to classrooms and labs — cleaning them daily. Other spaces that will continue to get daily cleaning: restrooms, conference rooms, halls and lobbies.

However, with the Davis campus gaining almost 3 million square feet of space over the last eight years — with no increase in custodial staff — something had to give, said John Meyer, vice chancellor in charge of the Office of Resource Management and Planning.

Based on a full-scale workload audit and assessment, he said, Buildings and Grounds is making “minor modifications” to the custodial cleaning schedule. These changes will save an estimated $500,000 a year, Meyer said.

A new customer service guide outlines “what we clean” and “how often we clean it.” This guide is available online: (look under “Resources”).

During once-a-week office cleaning, according to the guide, custodial personnel are assigned the following tasks:

Trash — Empty waste and recycle containers, and replace the liners if necessary.

Floor — Dust-mop tile and vacuum carpets, and spot-clean obvious stains.

Furniture — Return all furniture where to original position.

Genito said the information in the guide has never been communicated before. “If our customers aren’t getting the standard level of cleaning that they should, we want to know about it, and we will work to remedy the problem,” he said.

The guide also lists additional custodial services that are available on a recharge basis. These services include window washing, high dusting-cobweb removal, wall washing and blind cleaning.

Indoor event services

In charging for indoor event services, Genito blamed “current funding realities,” saying his division can no longer subsidize work that falls outside his division’s No. 1 priority: classroom and lab cleanup.

His unit has prepared a frequently asked questions document that describes what may constitute an indoor event: for example, a meeting where food is served; a small to large meeting or conference where excess garbage is generated and furniture is rearranged; an event that requires additional trash and-or recycling bins; or any other gathering that requires additional cleaning or restoration.

“If your meeting does not impact the space in any of these ways, then you do not need to notify Facilities Management,” the FAQ states.

For all other events, however, Facilities Management asks for work orders at least two weeks in advance. See “How To Create a Work Order”: (look under “Resources”).

The indoor and outdoor event services fees are based on expected attendance and approximate number of staff hours required to do the work.

Indoor fees:

0-75 people, 1 hour — $31

76-200 people, 2 hours — $62

201-600 people, 3 hours — $93

Outdoor fees:

0-75 people, 1 hour — $45

76-200 people, 2 hours — $90

201-600 people, 3 hours — $135

For indoor or outdoor events with more than 600 people, planners are advised to call for estimates of custodial costs ($124 minimum for indoor events, $180 minimum for outdoor events).

More information: (530) 752-9053 for custodial services (indoor events) or (530) 752-6741 for groundskeeping (outdoor events), or

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,