Reduction in Physical Plant Services
David S. O’Brien, Director Physical Plant Division
Recent budget reductions have driven a comprehensive review of services provided by the Physical Plant Division (PPD) to Health Center and Educational and General (E&G) facilities.
Facility occupants have already been asked by President Young to help conserve energy to drive down utility costs, which is a large portion of the Plant Operation and Maintenance (PO&M) budget. However, there is a need to find additional areas to trim PO&M costs to meet current budget levels.
PPD has done a top to bottom review of the services it provides and we have identified opportunities to save money. Unfortunately, these savings can only be realized with some changes in operation and reduction of some services.
On the operational side, we will be delaying some preventive maintenance and holding several craftsman positions vacant. Further, we will curtail the use of overtime, repair rather than replace older system components, extend the service life of air conditioning filters, and reduce the purchasing of landscaping materials.
These actions will reduce operating expenditures helping us meet our budget reduction. We don’t anticipate these actions leading to any system failures, however, there will be delays in response to routine work requests due to the reduction of assigned craftsmen.
Another area that will see change in PPD is the staffing level of the Grounds Department. We are re-organizing to respond mainly to maintenance and will accomplish future landscaping features by contract rather than by using in-house forces. In addition, we are reducing the permanent workforce through normal attrition to a level required for off-peak operations. During the growing season (Spring and Summer), we will supplement staffing using OPS employees to assist in Grounds maintenance work. We are hopeful that a savings can be realized through the reduction of these full time positions.
Finally, we must reduce the number of assigned custodians resulting in a reduced level of day-to- day services. The staffing reduction will be met by not filling current vacancies and through normal attrition. Each custodian will be responsible for a larger area, but will be required to perform fewer services within that area. In some cases, this will require custodians to move between facilities to allow them to perform services in a larger area. Planned service reductions are as follows:
- Eliminate dusting.
- Reduce vacuuming to twice a month.
- Reduce sweeping and dust mopping from once a day to twice a week.
- Reduce emptying of trash from every day to three times/week.
- Spot clean carpet as required rather than scheduled.
- Reduce window-washing services from twice/year to once/year.
We expect to be totally transitioned to this reduced custodial service mode by February 1, 2002.
Thank you in advance for your support and understanding as we position Physical Plant to provide the best possible services within the resources provided.