May 15, 2012 Facilities/Security Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
School Facilities and Security Subcommittee
Mr. David McCarthy, Chairperson
2nd Floor Conference Room
NAGE Building
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
4:30 p.m.

  1. Welcome - Chairman McCarthy

  2. Review of Current Maintenance Department Work Order System and Pending School Improvement Plan Projects - Mr. Murphy

  3. Adjournment/Thank You!


School Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A meeting of the School Facilities and Security Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. David McCarthy, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Colleen Roberts, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Kevin Murphy; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. McCarthy called the meeting to order at 4:35 pm and opened the meeting by introducing Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy explained the Work Order entry system: Principals, Secretaries, and Custodians enter their requests through email and then the Maintenance Department secretary enters the requests into the Work Order system. Every morning, the three Maintenance Department foremen divide up new work orders by trade and at the end of the day, turn in completed work orders for closeout. Work orders decline in the summer when the majority of school buildings are closed. Major school maintenance projects increase for the summer. In FY2012, approximately 2200 work orders have been completed to date. Electrical and carpentry work orders are more complex than general labor, so more time consuming. The majority of Work orders are addressed in three to five days. Since the City does not have a similar system, the number of additional work orders that will be requested is unknown. Mr. Murphy clarified that the prioritization would remain the same, for example, no heat in a school building on a winter day being a top priority. Mr. Murphy is hoping to improve the Work Order tracking system so that major issues can be indicated as ongoing work rather than appearing to remain open for long periods of time. The School Improvement Plan requests are also tracked and at this point in the year, the majority have been completed or are planned as summer projects or part of the ongoing Capital Improvement work.

Mr. Murphy is also working with Department of Public Works Commissioner Dan Raymondi on parking lot issues related to re-striping parking lots. Several school parking lots are candidates for repaving, should there be funding available for this. Mayor Koch clarified that the bulk of the City’s paving work is funded by Chapter 90 funds from the state through Mass Highway, and school parking lots would not be eligible. Two school parking lots were paved last summer through Capital Improvement plan funds.

Mr. McCarthy then stated that the bus mechanics and the food service transportation (who are currently part of the Maintenance staff) will not be included in this merger. Mr. Mulvey clarified that while this union is currently negotiating a new contract, any change would have to be impact bargained and as long as the bargaining is in good faith, everything should be fine. Mr. McCarthy suggested that the bus mechanics would be supervised by Transportation and the Food Service drivers would become part of Food Services. Mr. Mulvey clarified that these small groups of workers go in as separate subunits with their own pay scale. Mayor Koch also noted that even though these workers will change bargaining units, they don’t pick up bumping rights into other subunits or trades they aren’t licensed for.

Mr. McCarthy reviewed the organization chart that Mayor Koch provided at the April 11, 2012 Subcommittee meeting. There was some discussion about the reporting structure and how to guarantee regular reporting for the Superintendent and School Committee. Mayor Koch stated that he doesn’t expect the relationship between the Maintenance Department and Quincy Public Schools to change substantially.

Mrs. Mahoney expressed concerns about prioritization of emergencies. Mayor Koch and Mr. Murphy both agreed that the schools would have priority as they always have. Ms. Isola would like to see language formalizing the regular reporting and Mr. Bregoli agreed that this will make the transition easier. Mr. McCarthy expressed concerns about the summer project completion and Mayor Koch assured him that nothing will change. Mayor Koch also mentioned that there will be additional efficiencies realized from having a new home for Maintenance in the garage behind Squantum Gardens rather than the employees having to go between the workspace at Sterling, the office on Saville Avenue, and the DPW yard as they do now. Mr. Bregoli suggested putting something in place that formalizes the process of communication between the Superintendent and Maintenance department and Mr. McCarthy said it could be built into the motion that gets voted on by the full School Committee.

Mrs. Mahoney appreciates the Parks Department relationship structure with the School Committee, but feels uncomfortable about giving up control of the school Maintenance. Mr. Bregoli asked Mr. Murphy if he foresees complications in adding other city buildings to the work order system. Mr. Murphy said no, they will assess and prioritize work order requests in the same way as for the schools. In the long run, if additional staff are added to the department, that will only improve the ability to manage the work orders for all city buildings. Mr. Murphy feels the Mayor’s plan for a Maintenance building will only improve their efficiency.

Mr. Bregoli repeated his question about what language can we put in place to ensure that this transition gives the reporting and access guarantees. Mayor Koch suggested that the Director of Maintenance meets with Superintendent weekly and reports to School Committee quarterly. Dr. DeCristofaro agreed that this is the best way to institutionalize the collaboration. The School Improvement Plans have been important in surfacing issues and Subcommittee meetings are also key. Mr. Murphy agreed and added that the biweekly Plant/Maintenance Team meetings are very important. Mayor Koch reminded all that there are other examples of successful collaboration: DPW plowing of school parking lots, crossing guards from the Police Department, Parks maintenance of school grounds. Public Buildings already spends the majority of their time on the school facilities through new construction and Capital Improvement and Maintenance workers won’t be involved in these two areas. The Mayor said that it has been a focus of the administration to separate Public Buildings from the Department of Public Works and adding Maintenance to this department is a logical step. Under the Public Schools budget, additional positions for Maintenance would never be funded when a teaching position is needed instead. Under this new structure, additional Maintenance positions could be created.

Ms. Isola feels comfortable with the plan and is not nervous about transition at all. The Mayor is always responsible for the greater good of the city so sees this is an opportunity for the city in general. Ms. Isola would like to move forward with the assurances recommended by others.

Mr. McCarthy reiterated his concerns about the timing and summer projects being completed. The Mayor clarified that the city buildings do not have the same summer project list, so doesn’t see a conflict in priorities. Mr. Murphy emphasized his role in keeping the schools as the priority and intends to work collaboratively with Mr. Monahan, Mr. MacDonald, and Mr. Cunniff. Mrs. Mahoney reiterated her concern that the potential maintenance issues in the city buildings are an unknown. She feels that during the transition, there won’t be cost savings, and some work will still have to be outsourced. Mrs. Mahoney cited Honeywell is an example of giving away control, and feels the need to be cautious about going down same road. A discussion followed about the Parks Department maintenance of school grounds and opinions differed on how well this works.

Mr. McCarthy said he will work with Dr. DeCristofaro to craft a motion that will be acceptable to all School Committee members, building in the assurances mentioned in today’s meeting, specifically, regular communication with the Superintendent and the School Committee. Mayor Koch emphasized his proven record of commitment to the Quincy Public Schools and his belief that this is a good move for the City as a whole.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:58 pm on a motion from Mayor Koch and seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.