We are writing with an update on the reorganization of Tufts’ custodial services, undertaken by DTZ this summer. Our priority throughout this process has been to support DTZ in an effort to minimize job loss and treat each person with compassion and respect. Reducing personnel is always difficult, particularly in a close-knit community like Tufts. From the beginning, we have approached this reorganization as thoughtfully and transparently as possible, including following the steps outlined in the agreement signed by the university and the Tufts Labor Coalition last December.
Since our community update on August 3, DTZ has completed the reorganization that they began implementing in late May. Through voluntary transfers to other DTZ sites, resignations, filling open positions at Tufts, and elimination of temporary positions, the number of layoffs has been reduced to four. All of those laid off have been offered permanent positions at other DTZ sites.
The reorganization, which is part of a university-wide initiative to allocate resources more effectively, will put us more in line with peer institutions in terms of efficiency based on the number of cleanable square feet cleaned by a full-time custodian.
In the reorganization, custodial work will be organized in teams. Though recent external reports of the reorganization claimed that individuals would be responsible for cleaning several large buildings alone, that is not accurate. In fact custodians will always work in teams, sharing responsibility for cleaning large buildings. DTZ has confirmed that communicating the team structure is part of the training that they have been doing to get the new system in place for the start of the academic year. They will make a special effort to ensure that custodians understand the team approach to their responsibilities.
We thank the community for your patience, and hope that you will welcome any DTZ employees to their new sites on campus.