The University of Tennessee has taken on an aggressive program in order to reach its Vol Vision, taking one step further in its journey to become a Top 25 Research Institution. The University has decided to reverse its outsourcing of custodial work, and take 5 million square feet of cleaning back in-house, phasing out its current contractor, and adding 140 new positions.
“T” Cleaning stands for “Total Cleaning” and it is through this comprehensive plan that the University will see an overall improvement in custodial services as outsourced buildings are moved back in-house. “T” Cleaning allows in-house custodial staff to deliver professional custodial services to building occupants. All buildings that UT employees clean are equipped with the proper supplies and tools to provide “Total” services to those buildings. This includes hard-floor care, shampooing, recycling, lavatory scrubbing, and detailed office cleaning. All public areas in these buildings are on a daily cleaning schedule while private areas (such as offices) are scheduled weekly. This enables “T” Cleaning to provide a higher level of service to our customers. Reception, public areas, and common areas receive nightly service, while private offices get detail vacuum, polished desks, trash removal and recycling on the appropriately scheduled night. If trash collection in a private office is needed more often, then the occupant only needs to place his/her can(s) in the hall and they will be serviced that night. Occupants now know what services are provided and when — the key is communication.
Facilities Services began transitioning custodial staff in April, 2012 with a switch-over of 250,000 square feet in the Conference Center Building. July 1st will see the additional change-over of HPER, Police Headquarters, Dabney-Buehler, Andy Holt Tower, Communications, and Student Services. Eleven new employees were added for this all-at-once transition, and the “T” Cleaning team has learned that changing-over more than one or two buildings at a time (training 11 people and opening 6 buildings) is a bit too much. So, to better facilitate future transitions, Facilities Services will only switch one or two buildings every 2 weeks. Twenty-seven additional buildings are included in the next stage, which will begin on July 31, 2012.
We stand behind our “Total” Cleaning and look to provide a World Class service that any Top 25 Research Institution should expect. The University of Tennessee family is a close knit organization, and we know that everyone wishes to put their best foot forward in order to achieve our Top 25 goals, so if you have any questions or concerns, please call Gordon Nelson, Building Services General Superintendent, at (865) 974-2054.
Questions & Answers
Q: Are all doors supposed to be locked at night?
A. Outside doors are either locked by the custodian or remotely locked by Central Alarm. Classrooms are locked by the custodian unless there’s nothing in the classroom besides chairs and a blackboard or white board. Offices should be locked by the occupant upon leaving and on nights the offices are cleaned they will be relocked by the custodian.
Q: Are classrooms cleaned every night?
A. Like other common areas (lobbies, hallways, restrooms, stairwells, elevators), classrooms are cleaned every night. In addition, the offices of Deans and Department Heads are considered to be common areas due to the high volume of traffic they receive. We are not always able to identify these individuals, so if this has not happened, please contact us.
Q: Who should we call if there has been a roof leak and the carpet is wet?
A. All Building Services requests can go through 974-5107 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Outside of these hours and days all requests for any type of service from Facilities Services can be obtained by calling 946-7777. This is a 24/7 any day of the year telephone line answered by a Facilities employee.
Q: Why is my office garbage not removed every night?
A. We are on the custodial schedule to allow custodians to do a professional cleaning job rather than trash detail. We have daily priorities, such as restroom cleaning for public health and sanitation. Only “wet” garbage needs to removed daily. Should you have “wet” garbage, we ask that you dispose of it in a community garbage can for daily removal. We are working within the same budget and improving our services. In order to do this, we have reallocated our time to cleaning public areas, such as restrooms, on a daily basis rather than emptying every trash can. This also allows us to save over $300,000 in trash liners. We ask that you join us in sustainability efforts.
Q. On the night my office is scheduled to be cleaned, what can I expect?
A. Once we have a fully-staffed unit, dusting, cleaning of desks that are cleared of daily work and clutter, dusting blinds, floor care, and cleaning of public areas, including restrooms, to enhance the curb appeal of the University.
Q. What do I do if I run out of toilet paper?
A. Double check to make sure no paper is in both compartments of the toilet paper dispenser and check less frequently utilized stalls. Otherwise, call Building Services 974-5107 or Gordon Nelson 974-2054 for supply needs.
If you would like to have someone talk to you about Total Cleaning or need information on your scheduled night for cleaning, contact Gordon Nelson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (865) 974-2054.