Spring Quarter Snapshot: Custodial Staff Help Across the Causeway

Four custodians cleaning at UC Davis Health.
Davis campus custodians who have volunteered to work at UC Davis Health include, from left, Victor Garcia, Ashley Graham, Baljit Singh and Lucia Cholado. (Tamsila Nosheen/UC Davis)

For staff in Facilities Management’s Custodial Services unit, the campus’s suspended operations status meant that half would be rotating on, then off the job, but that is no longer the case.

“UC Davis Health needs our help,” said Finis Jones, director of UC Davis custodial services. “We have trained and sent approximately 40 custodians to our UC Davis Health campus to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s over 25 percent of my staff.”

At first the Davis team that volunteered to work at UC Davis Health was not going to be providing custodial services in patient areas including emergency rooms, exam and trauma areas. But now, in addition to working in familiar areas — lobbies, hallways, restrooms, elevators and stairwells — many of these team members are training to care for patient areas as well.

“To give them more of an idea of what it will be like, I give tours,” Jones said. “That way they can see what it's like on the UC Davis Health campus, they can ask questions and gain a better understanding of the job before they begin.”

Meanwhile, on the Davis campus, Jones’ team is still providing services for 350-plus research labs continuing their operations through the crisis, as well as classrooms, since many faculty are using these facilities and the resources in them for teaching remotely.

“It’s a balance. I’m behind the scenes coordinating and redirecting resources accordingly, but my team is stepping up and contributing. They are proud to have a job that is essential and I’m incredibly proud of them too.”

Primary Category