Office-dwellers at UT today let out a collective groan as plans to cut back on custodial services were announced. Laurie Lentz, the communications coordinator for UT Facility Services, explained that the changes will predominantly affect offices.
“Where you’re really going to see the change is in the individual offices. For those offices we are going to gradually phase in a monthly cleaning as opposed to a weekly cleaning schedule” said Lentz.
Lentz stressed that areas such as classrooms, libraries, and common rooms will maintain their current cleaning schedule. Office-inhabitants, whether they are University brass or lowly news bloggers are encouraged to use the trash receptacles that are emptied daily if their bins overfill with empty Starbucks cups and/or Cheeto dust.
The cut comes as a response to the upcoming budget reductions the university is expecting in the next couple of years. Texas is anticipating a budget shortfall as high as $28 billion for the 2012-13 biennium and many state institutions are already starting to tighten their belts in preparation.
The annoyance of office clutter is not the only bad news in the University custodial scene, as the University Facility Services also announced that they will not be able to hire for eleven current vacancies. The non-hirings are anticipated to save the school $250,000 annually and will let the University Facility Services avoid making lay-offs to current staff.
Lentz also mentioned that the University will stop providing toilet seat covers and feminine products in their restrooms. Even with the cutbacks, Lentz remains optimistic that the quality of the University’s custodial services will not suffer.
“We may be reducing the quantity of office cleaning services but we want to maintain the quality” said Lentz.