Facilities watching overtime

Shawntaye Hopkins

Administrators are still making plans to meet recent budget cuts. But some staff have already found themselves considering ways to save money.

Supervisors and managers in Facilities Management have been asked to monitor overtime hours in their department more closely because of the recent cuts ordered by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Kentucky universities have been asked to cut about $64 million from their budgets. Western is facing a $5.6 million hit.

Administrators are currently discussing what cuts will be made. President Gary Ransdell will present a plan to the Board of Regents in about two weeks.

Gene Tice, vice president of Student Affairs and campus services, said no matter what budget cuts are made, every department can watch overtime hours.

“I think everybody is studying their budgets and trying to cut back in any way they can,” he said.

Staff have been asked not to work after hours unless property has been damaged or there is a safety hazard, Facilities Management director Doug Ault said.

Other matters could also require staff to visit campus after hours.

For example, a power outage in Van Meter Hall might be considered urgent if there is an event that night, Ault said. Facilities Management staff are also required to reset fire alarms regardless of the time of day.

“We don’t really know at this point how much that will save us,” Ault said. “But we want to start being careful and prudent about our overtime.”

Building Services Manager Judy Blankenship said building service attendants have always tried to monitor their overtime hours and the additional emphasis on it won’t affect them very much.

Staff try to only use overtime when there is an emergency, she said. They may also work overtime if their department’s pay will be reimbursed.

Fiscal Services Manager Angie Jackson agreed with Blankenship, saying her staff also monitors their overtime. But the hours have been watched closer since the budget cuts.

Other factors are also being considered to save money, Ault said.

Facilities Management is currently looking into energy conservation methods.

Last year, several improvements were made to campus buildings in areas such as heating and cooling to conserve energy.

Facilities is also attempting to have some technicians trained in Bowling Green as opposed to having them travel elsewhere.

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]