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NUMBER OF ELEVATOR OPERATORS Mr. BENJAMIN. In 1977, how many elevator operators did we have?
Mr. WHITE. One hundred fifty-two. Mr. BENJAMIN. In 1978? Mr. WHITE. One hundred one. Mr. BENJAMIN. And you are pricing in 94 this year, for fiscal 1980?
Mr. WHITE. Approximately $500,000. Mr. BENJAMIN. Are you talking about total cost? Mr. WHITE. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. I would appreciate that for each year, but I would appreciate knowing how many bodies we are talking about.
Mr. WHITE. We are talking about 94 bodies.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Okay. Ninety-four bodies at $9,536, that comes out to a lot more than $500,000.
Mr. WHITE. I am sorry; we selected the wrong number from this list. It is closer to $900,000.
Mr. BENJAMIN. You have a number of elevators that are designated Members Only that are not operated as such, do you know, throughout the House Office Buildings, or at least in the Cannon Building? Mr. J. RAYMOND CARROLL. No, sir.
ELEVATOR PROBLEMS Mr. BENJAMIN. Let me give you one, then, on 1st and Independence, the west side of the Longworth Building, about 100 feet south of the intersection, a level entrance. You have a sign on that elevator that says Members Only, and you have a little button for Members Only. You have an elevator operator on there, but there is no way that particular signal works. I don't know if the intent is not to have a Members Only elevator, which I think is totally acceptable to most Members in the building. On the other hand, we have an elevator operator in there.
Mr. WHITE. If the signal for Members Only is not operating, something is wrong. It ought to be operating.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Well, let me give you that one to look at. Also let me give you one that is in the Cannon Building on the west side, approximately in the corner of-excuse me, in both instances New Jersey. In this one, New Jersey and C. You have an elevator that is completely out of order. It just floats up and down. I don't know if you have people inspecting these things.
Mr. WHITE. Yes, we do. As a matter of fact, at some appropriate time, I want to discuss this whole elevator mechanic question with you.
DESIRABILITY OF MEMBER ONLY ELEVATORS Mr. BENJAMIN. Okay, let me point out to you frankly, I have no great desire to use a Members Only elevator, or don't care. If you are going to have a Members Only, I assume you are going to staff it with operators. If you don't have Members Only, I don't see the need for the operators, particularly with the cost associated with this, and I would strongly suggest that you correlate the two.
Almost every year that you have appeared, or the Architect has appeared, before this subcommittee, there has always been some discussion on elevators, and I, for one, have written you on several occasions about the lack of courtesy, the lack of attention; that is, attentiveness as to whether people are getting off or on, the doors closing on a person, and the dress of the elevator operator. I feel when the public is involved, they don't need to see somebody we are paying a large sum of money to that is completely incompatible with the situation of meeting the public.
DISCIPLINE OF PARTRONAGE EMPLOYEES Mr. WHITE. Mr. Chairman, I absolutely agree, and we have discussed this before. We have, as you know, the continuing difficulty of discipline over patronage employees.
Mr. BENJAMIN. And I think we had this discussion in 1977, and I indicated to you that all my employees are patronage, but I would never tolerate that in my office.
Mr. WHITE. Yes. Well, we probably need to be a little more stringent with regard to discipline. I must say that the Patronage Committee has never prevented us from being disciplinarians. There is perhaps a hesitancy because of that kind of an employee to be to stern, but we certainly need to exert more effort.
In terms of the repair of the elevators, which is a separate question altogether, if it is appropriate, I would like to discuss that.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Do you have time for them to go into that discussion, sir?
Mr. MICHEL. Sure.
ELEVATOR MECHANIC CONSOLIDATION Mr. WHITE. This is really, Mr. Chairman, a result of a suggestion or a question that you raised, last year or the year before, having to do with why we need so many elevator mechanics. I have made a considerable investigation of this whole question in terms of elevator mechanics. The results are perhaps applicable to other mechanical or electrical areas as well. And that is that because of the way the appropriations made are provided, and because of the law which prevents us from using appropriations made for one purpose for another purpose, we have elevator mechanics in the Senate Office Buildings, elevator mechanics in the House Office Buildings, elevator mechanics in this building, elevator mechanics in the Supreme Court, and elevator mechanics in the Library of Congress, I would like to propose on an experimental basis that we provide language which will enable us, and we have the language here, to utilize these elevator mechanics anywhere on the Hill, and by attrition, I feel reasonably certain we will ultimately reduce the number of elevator mechanics.
I just can't imagine that we need as many as we have if we centralize control. The control would then be removed from the building superintendents to a central elevator engineering staff, which we already have, but which has a certain amount of difficulty in exerting control over the elevator mechanics presently since they work for the superintendents.
Now, all of these people work for me, but it is difficult for people to serve two masters; so the control isn't as direct and as complete as it might otherwise be.
We think that we can provide adequate service, the same as has been done, perhaps even better, and at less cost.
We thought it would be useful to begin with this area, which is something we have looked into in some detail, and, if it works, we may suggest that we do it in other areas as well.
It may be, for example, that in certain of the electrical areas this might be possible. We presently do that with certain electrical activities, such as the substation crews that service all the substations, and we presently do it for elevator inspection. That is done by one group of inspectors all over the Hill.
We have 161 passenger and freight elevators, 35 escalators, 8 sidewalk lifts, 13 dumbwaiters, 6 subway cars, and 4 kitchen conveyors, for a total of 227 pieces of equipment that these people are involved in, and if we do it centrally, we think it will be a useful thing to do, both from the savings of funds and from the service that we can provide.
Mr. BENJAMIN. I would appreciate it. I appreciate your follow-up. It was last year that we discussed that during the committee meeting, and you did follow up, and I thank you, and we will happily accept your language.
Mr. WHITE. Thank you.
Additional provision for the Legislative Branch
Appropriation Act of 1980
ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in order
to improve the economic use of the personal services
of his employees, the Architect of the Capitol is authorized nereafter to assign and reassign, without
increase or decrease in basic salary or wages, any
person on the employment rolls of his Office, for personal services in any buildings, facilities or
grounds under his jurisdiction or for personal ser
vices in connection with any project under his jurisdiction for which appropriations have been made and
are available, whenever such action, in his opinion, will be most advantageous to the interest of or result in either specific or overall savings to the Government. No assignment or reassignment of personnel by the Architect of the Capitol pursuant to this : provision shall operate in any respect to augment or decrease any general or specific appropriation.
Mr. BENJAMIN. I have a couple others before we get to the justification.
ELEVATOR OPERATIONS SAVINGS Mr. MICHEL. I have a couple on the elevators while we are on it, because I personally get bugged the same way. We have some very fine operators, and there are others who are less than desirable, but I look at the cost and the amount we are paying them for 8 hours and working 6, and I find that, well, we wanted to save something last year; we have a 5 percent across-the-board; it doesn't result in any savings; it results in just a deferral of some of these things, and I would much rather our taking the bull by the horns in an item like this and say chop the darn thing in half and get this pay scale down to where it is comparable to what it is out in the outside, and be able to go forthrightly to the Members and say we just saved you $450,000 or $500,000 of real money of some thing we don't need for ourselves.
Then we make a real contribution, it seems to me, because I have a problem with having operators on any of these elevators where they are automatic.
How much damage is done to these—some of these elevators have to be very expensive, and it just galls my hide to see the defacing of anything around here that I see, and particularly in an elevator. Has there been any estimate of what we save by having an operator in an elevator as distinguished from having none, and then having the elevator just terribly defaced?
Mr. WHITE. We haven't made any estimate of that, but I would guess that you don't have a net saving by having an operator. It is very costly to pay people, and you could probably replace the cab in the elevator once every 10 years if you had to with the savings that would result from just having operators. We are constantly having to maintain them, anyway, since, as you see, we have only a small number of operators for the total number of elevators that we have. The general public, as everyone is aware, tends not to be too careful.
FREIGHT ELEVATORS Mr. MICHEL. Those freight elevators you were talking about, those are really roughly furnished, are they not? We don't have to be all that concerned about defacing them, do we?
Mr. WHITE. No, I think there you get into problems with the doors, with the freight handlers who are making deliveries or moving things, banging into the elevator doors. The cabs, themselves, generally have a stainless steel wainscoting, and thus it is really the doors that become the problem. We have that problem even with some of the people who push carts around for the post office and some of the pages that are pushing carts with various things on them. They apparently have a little game that they play, to see whether they can get out of the door after waiting a certain number of minutes after the door opens; they scrape those rubber astragals, and it is just a continuous problem which is difficult to do much about, in my judgment, except to maintain the equipment and try to police it as best we can.
having could resunce covere, and youving by hate of that, I
doors; WHITE. No, To thout defacing the they not? We domine, about,