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Despite a 26 per cent increase in spending on plant and operations since 1993, there are fewer custodians working in Edmonton schools now.

In 2003, custodial staff declined by over 14 full-time equivalent positions.

Money allocated to maintain healthy learning environments is being used elsewhere, says CUPE 474 president Doug Luellman. There is no consistency in staffing or cleanliness from one school to the next.

Luellman also noted that the budget for management positions increased by 70 per cent during the same period.

Unless action is taken now, schools will deteriorate and the health and safety of students and staff will be put at risk, he told trustees January 27.

Luellman proposed a centralized staffing formula for custodial staff, board-wide standards for cleanliness and maintenance, and an end to school-based budgeting.