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  1. #1
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    Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Maintenance staff, custodians, campus grounds crew and clerical workers are the employee ranks that have taken the biggest hits at Iowa’s three regent universities, after state budget cuts in recent years led to work force reductions.
    Officials at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa say they’ve tried to keep the work force cuts from impacting classrooms and public spaces. But in many cases it has led to less frequent cleaning, maintenance and trash removal for UI offices and longer waits for things like building fixes and snow removal.
    “We had to shift our services to match the new budget realities,” David Miller, ISU associate vice president for facilities, said. “We had to get leaner out of necessity.”
    ISU President Gregory Geoffroy, in asking state legislators recently for increased funds next year, said the work force cuts in the facilities and maintenance areas had left the university “at absolute bare bones for what we need to maintain our campus.”
    From fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2010, the merit category of employees dropped by nearly 10 percent at ISU and by 4 percent at the UI. Merit employees include custodians, maintenance workers and grounds crew.
    UNI tracks employee groups differently, but saw losses of almost 6 percent to the secretarial/clerical work force and more than an 8 percent decrease in skilled craft jobs from 2009 to 2010.
    The UI and ISU track “full-time equivalent” numbers, while UNI tracks the actual number of employees.
    Maintenance, cleaning crews feeling pinch of university budget cutbacks | TheGazette



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    I'm sure Pres Geoffroy is really frustrated with the continual budget cuts during his tenure. Its possible that could have factored into the timing of his decision to step down. IMO, its a shame that education funding is not the priority it once was.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    You don't really notice how big of a difference cutting out one maintenance staff memeber or cleaner has on a facility until after that person is gone. One of the companies I contract for trimmed down their cleaning staff a few months ago and complaints have since tripled because less staff are asked to do more work and they can't compensate for the number of employees. It seems like the less glorious jobs get trimmed first, being perceived as non-essential, but in reality they are among the most essential jobs in promoting a favorable and pleasant workplace.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    It's a shame education expenses are so high.




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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GenClone View Post
    You don't really notice how big of a difference cutting out one maintenance staff memeber or cleaner has on a facility until after that person is gone. One of the companies I contract for trimmed down their cleaning staff a few months ago and complaints have since tripled because less staff are asked to do more work and they can't compensate for the number of employees. It seems like the less glorious jobs get trimmed first, being perceived as non-essential, but in reality they are among the most essential jobs in promoting a favorable and pleasant workplace.


    And there is a strong reluctance among professional people to stoop to the level of maybe actually helping out, even if it's only doing a better job of picking up after one's self or maybe bending over and picking up a scrap of paper on the floor if you see one and actually throwing it away.

    Most university faculty members would rather suffocate in a pile of their own filth than dump their own waste basket every couple of days.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    And there is a strong reluctance among professional people to stoop to the level of maybe actually helping out, even if it's only doing a better job of picking up after one's self or maybe bending over and picking up a scrap of paper on the floor if you see one and actually throwing it away.

    Most university faculty members would rather suffocate in a pile of their own filth than dump their own waste basket every couple of days.
    What... you mean do something that is not in there "Job Description".... Um that could be grounds for termination....



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    It's a shame education expenses are so high.
    Yeah, if only the teachers were paid less and received no benefits, and the University spent almost no money on campus maintenance and improvements. Then we could make major cuts in research spending as well to lower the expenses. Then cut many of the programs the University offers and decrease the educational possibilities at ISU, that would save even more money. Quit maintaining the residence halls and other University buildings, cut all non-essential spending. Then we can cut the salaries of ISU staff even more, because we all know public employees are evil and the cause of all our nations economic problems. We should also eliminate many teaching positions, and replace them with online classes, because that would be cheaper. Who needs those expensive labs where students learn hands-on, they can just read about this stuff over the internet, that will prepare them just fine for their future employment.

    That would fix everything, right? That's the University we want, cheap and dirty right? You get what you pay for.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Yep. Exactly right. You nailed it.




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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    And there is a strong reluctance among professional people to stoop to the level of maybe actually helping out, even if it's only doing a better job of picking up after one's self or maybe bending over and picking up a scrap of paper on the floor if you see one and actually throwing it away.

    Most university faculty members would rather suffocate in a pile of their own filth than dump their own waste basket every couple of days.
    So, are you saying that faculty actions are responsible for all the cleaning, maintenance, etc. that's necessary on a university campus? Or simply professional people? And how do you define "professional people" by the way?

    I do not disagree that there are some people like you describe. I am frustrated that every "cuts to public-funds-related" article seems to bring out the "blame someone else" attitude.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    they could cut down on ticket police, i get.



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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    How much was tuition/state aid in 1990?

    How much was tuition/state aid in 2010?

    Is an education that much better in 2010 than 1990? I highly, highly doubt it.




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    Re: Maintenance, Cleaning Crews Feeling Pinch of University Budget Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    How much was tuition/state aid in 1990?

    How much was tuition/state aid in 2010?

    Is an education that much better in 2010 than 1990? I highly, highly doubt it.
    I don't have those numbers in front of me, I really wish I did because it would be interesting to see. Tuition has doubled or close to it over that timeframe. One of the reasons for the rise in tuition is continual cuts in state funding. I definitely don't think an education is any better in 1990 than 2010... with Branstad as Governor, given his history with Iowa State, I just hope we don't see a major decline. The hawkeye fans who never attended college who make up a signficant portion of his constituency will be drooling whenever they hear the words "budget cuts" and "Iowa State" in the same sentence.

    Still, its a GREAT education for the price, just as good as one would receive at many, many more expensive Universities. And that is a good thing, as the vast majority of in-state students who attend ISU do not come from a wealthy background.



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