October 2 Is Custodial Appreciation Day

    EDMONTON, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - "Custodial workers are those who clean
our schools, hospitals, public buildings, non profit organizations and offices
and are the invisible workers in the service industry," says Doug Luellman,
President of CUPE Local 474, the union that represents Edmonton and Black Gold
Public School Custodial workers, along with inner city workers at the
Salvation Army and Operation Friendship Seniors Society.
    Luellman says the work custodians and environmental workers do is
essential to the health and safety of those who live eight hours a day in
public and other buildings. Without us, hospitals face opportunist infections
like SARS, public spaces face contamination from Norwalk virus, and studies
show that student achievement declines in our schools.
    October 2 is Custodial Appreciation Day in Edmonton. First declared six
years ago by CUPE Local 474, and the Edmonton Public School Board in
appreciation of the work of the custodial workers in the district. It has
since become recognized by the City of Edmonton in 2003.
    The day is celebrated across North America. "We work for you!" says
    "It is a chance to recognize the work that most people don't see, since
often cleaning is done after regular hours," says Luellman. "It is a chance to
say thank you to the people who make sure that our building environment is
clean and safe for people."
    Too often, custodial workers in the public sector and other groups are
the first to get cut when funding gets tight. But those cuts have had drastic
effects. Studies have shown that cuts in hospital cleaning staff, including
contracting out of those jobs, resulted in the faster spread of SARS, says
    "On October 2nd, all schools and other buildings are asked by the
Superintendents and Senior Administration to take time out to show
appreciation to the custodial workers. In some schools and other buildings
there will be cakes, special lunches or dinners and recognition for
professional development. "

    CUPE is Canada's largest union with close to half a million women and men
who provide public and other services. In Alberta, CUPE's 24,000 members work
in, schools, municipalities, health care, non profit organizations, colleges,
universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and
casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and

For further information:

For further information: Doug Luellman, (780) 447-5858, Cell: (780)
446-5688, Fax: (780) 447-4999, cupe474@telusplanet.net

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Alberta Regional Office

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