Medical School Outsources Custodians

Current workers will be allowed to keep jobs

Harvard Medical School (HMS) announced yesterday that its maintenance and custodial services will be provided by Trammell Crow Company starting later this year.

"This is probably the most comprehensive outsourcing of maintenance [at Harvard] to date," said Eric Buehrens, associate dean for planning and facilities at HMS.

Outsourcing of employees is a national trend--and one that has been duly reflected at Harvard.


The majority of security guards are now employed by Security Systems Incorporated (SSI), while Leverett, Quincy, and Mather Houses have a portion of their bathrooms cleaned by UNICCO, a national maintenance services company.

Acording to University spokesperson Joe Wrinn, these changes are motivated by the fact that the facilities have become more specialized and more technical.

"We did not start with the larger intent of cutting down costs," Wrinn said.

For a research institution with over 1000 labs, even small temperature changes and short blackouts can become large problems.

"It's not just an inconvenience," said Don Gibbons, associate dean for public affairs. "We could lose 10-12 years of research."

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