Custodians’ duties drew discussion Feb. 5 as the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor CSD Board of Trustees received updates on maintenance and other work at Boothbay Region Elementary and High schools. Facilities and Transportation Director Dave Benner left notes with Superintendent Keith Laser touching on replacement of HVAC units at BRES, the insulation of the BRES music room, a troubled burner in one of the new BRES boilers and a job description for custodial duties no one seems happy with.
“We had a draft copy of a job description dating back to 2005,” said Laser. “(But) the custodians started questioning what they were doing and what they weren't doing. So, I said OK, let's do a job description for them.”
Benner and Laser started on the job description over the summer and a few of the drafts came back from the custodians who asked for more details. Benner found a more detailed description that illustrates daily, weekly, monthly and summer tasks, said Laser. “So, I presented that and that drew some consternation.”
The biggest problem for custodians was, the description included snow removal, salting and sanding, and leaf removal, said Laser. Pulling all the job descriptions for school custodians around the state, Laser said all of them include those fall and winter duties.
Laser said custodians also feel several duties in the draft description belong with the maintenance crew as their hourly rate is about $2 more per hour. There are a total of six custodians and two maintenance workers, Laser said.
Trustee Kevin Anthony said he understood several feel the list of duties is much longer for custodians than for the maintenance crew. Laser said the draft descriptions for each job differ in that the custodians' work is broken down into individual tasks rather than generalized duties – about six pages versus one page.
Laser read part of the custodians’ job description: “'You will clean the sink, you will sweep the floor, you will clean spots on the carpet, you will assist visiting members of the public when they're utilizing the facilities, you will shovel snow and salt walkways as necessary, pick up leaves, you will maintain the building and grounds security by opening and closing the buildings each day.' It's very specific.”
Anthony said he was still concerned that custodians remain unsure of what their jobs should and do entail. He said he would like to speak with them.
Said Anthony, “I've heard they are very, very good and that it would be bad if we lost them.”
Phase two, other updates
Honeywell is preparing for the phase two project planned for summer, said Laser. The project involves removing the old heating and ventilation units from the second floor ceiling and installing new equipment.
At the request of BRES music teacher Genie O’Connell, the music room re-insulation project will wait until summer, Laser said. He said O’Connell was not convinced the project could be finished over winter vacation and she does not want the smells and effects of airborne particles distracting her students.
Benner's report said BRES's number two boiler keeps “flaming out” every seven to 10 days, Laser said. Benner will meet with a burner representative from New Jersey about it.