Custodial staff shortages affect cleanliness

New manager seeks custodial reform


Luis Cortes ./ The Advocate

A trash can near the Student Services Center is filled to the brim with garbage due to significant custodial worker and equipment shortages on campus leaving some areas on campus unattended.

By Luis Cortes, Sports Editor

For the thousands of students who attend the Contra Costa College campus, everyday life is easy — you go to class and move on with your daily life.

But this is not the case for the CCC custodial staff.

With the size of the CCC campus, one would expect more than 30 custodians to be on staff, because without them, the campus would not be a pleasant place.

Custodial Manager William Tandongfor said he currently has 13 permanent custodians and four substitutes.

Tandongfor did say he is currently in the process of hiring more substitutes because the department doesn’t have enough bodies to fill in when employees call in sick.

The custodial manager said he has only been on the job for about two months and one week, but he’s recognized the shortage of staff.

“We have a shortage of custodial staff and one of the reasons is because we have budget constraints,” Tandongfor said.

Students also feel the effects of the custodial pinch and regularly encounter empty paper dispensers and overflowing trash cans in bathrooms.

Prior to becoming custodial manager, Tandongfor worked for 14 years as the senior facility manager for Georgia Institute of Technology where he created Green Cleaning, which is a healthier way to maintain a campus.

Tandongfor’s system garnered worldwide attention and now his goal is to bring that to CCC. However, he is currently unable to start it because he and his staff don’t have the resources.

Tandongfor also worked for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) as a general foreman for three years. While working at Georgia Institute of Technology, he had 60 employees, and 200 employees at MARTA.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said CCC has a total of 26 buildings and a landmass of 86 acres.

Tandongfor said since the first day he arrived, he saw that CCC was short on equipment, for staffing buildings, cleaning and safety.

“When I came in on day one, I saw that we didn’t have floor scrubbers and carpet extractors. Without those it is very hard for employees to clean floors. They also were without safety supplies such as face masks and protective glasses,” he said.

To help with the equipment shortage, Tandongfor worked with the Business Office to get floor scrubbers.

One major issue Tandongfor has is he wished the custodial staff would be more involved in the planning of the new buildings.

The Gym should have two custodial employees dedicated to clean it and so should the science building, he said.

The custodial manager also said the size of the janitorial closets should be increased because they are very small. “I believe every building should have a custodian,” Tandongfor said.

Custodian Donna Ericson echoed Tandongfor’s belief that there is a huge shortage of custodial staff.

“The buildings are huge and because of the shortage, we have gotten more work added to us,” Ericson said.

She said the Biological Sciences and Music buildings currently do not have permanent custodians, leaving the time-constricted substitutes to clean those buildings.