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Philosophy and Vision

PPD Mission Statement

Operate and maintain the physical campus environment and facilities to support the educational, research and service programs for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors in order to uphold the University's mission.

PPD Core Values

  • We do the right thing--not the easy thing.
  • We choose to succeed and success means exceeding our customer's expectations.
  • We know what our goals are and we work hard to achieve them.
  • We are committed to finding solutions that allow everyone to "win".
  • We listen respectfully to others and think before we act.
  • We value teamwork. It provides better results.


The Physical Plant Department Employee Handbook was created to assist you in finding pertinent information about your job and the department. It is meant to be a summary of information that is contained in other published materials such as the University Business Policies and Procedures Manual (UBP), the Physical Plant Department Policies and Procedures Manual (PPDM), the Agreement Between the Communications Workers of America and The University of New Mexico, Maintenance & Operations and Clerical/Technical Units (CWA Agreement), and the Labor/Management Agreement Between United Staff-UNM (US-UNM Agreement), Local 6155 and The University of New Mexico.

Our intent is not to repeat the information contained in these resources, but to summarize it for you. In many instances throughout this handbook, in order to get more detailed information, you will be referred to the actual resources from which the information is taken.

All employees are entitled access to the listed materials. See your manager/supervisor for specific locations where they can be found.

Department History and Organization

When the enrollment at the University of New Mexico totaled 108 and all functions were confined in the only campus building, Hodgin Hall, it was a simple matter for anyone to get immediate action on requests for Physical Plant Department (PPD) services. One only had to find a gentleman by the name of Mr. Custers, who had many roles as a University employee, including custodian, heating plant operator, carpenter/painter, groundskeeper, and librarian. PPD now has almost 500 employees who are responsible for more than six million square feet of interior space and 680 acres of land.

PPD manages the operation and maintenance of all University facilities, including buildings, grounds, landscaping, vehicles, and utilities.

Customer Service

Of particular importance to the daily operations of the department is the element of customer service. The department’s slogan, El Servicio Real (English translation is The Royal Service), captures the idea behind what we are trying to accomplish. We strive to provide timely, quality work, cost-effectively. All PPD employees are expected to perform their duties while keeping in mind that customer satisfaction is our goal. Customer service involves the following components:

  • A positive attitude and image
  • Skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated employees
  • Ease of obtaining service
  • Flexibility of service
  • Easy communication
  • Responsiveness to customer requests
  • Keeping the customer informed
  • Completing quality projects on time


E-mail and Internet Service

PPD Computer Use Agreement.

As the University increases its use of this technology, more and more communications will be transmitted via e-mail. It is crucial that relevant staff obtain an e-mail account/address. You are expected to use this form of communication in a professional, businesslike manner. Communication that entails harassment, potential damage to computer systems (knowingly passing on a computer virus), attempting to breach the security of a computer or computer system, copyright infringement, use of commercial purposes, or use for any personal purposes that interfere with PPD functions is strictly prohibited. For additional information, refer to UBP #2500, “Acceptable Computer Use.”

University Property


All PPD employees will be required to read and sign a computer use agreement to receive a pass code. Any computer equipment that you will be issued is the property of PPD, and is to be used for University business. Your computer will be configured to fit the needs of your position, which may include e-mail and access to the Internet. Computers may not be used to “surf the net,” and under no circumstances shall be used to view pornographic or objectionable material. Employees are prohibited from reconfiguring or installing software on PPD computer equipment without the knowledge and prior approval of the Information Systems group. For additional information, refer to PPDM, “Information Systems.”

Uniforms and Identification Badges


  • PPD provides uniforms to select employees within the department in order to present professionalism and pride in workmanship by employees, and to raise the visibility of the department in the campus community.
  • Employees who are issued uniforms are required to wear them while at work (including special events and after-hours work).
  • Uniforms will be neat and clean at the beginning of each work shift, with the exception of employees working back-to-back shifts.
  • Uniform shirts will be tucked in during working hours.
  • Uniforms are not to be worn off-duty except when traveling directly to and from work or at reasonable stops in between. Uniforms may be worn to class if the class is scheduled during work hours or shortly before or after.
  • Employees reporting to work without wearing a clean, complete uniform (including safety shoes and identification badge) may be sent home without pay until they return properly attired.
  • Uniforms may not be altered by the employee, unless approved by the director.
  • A replacement uniform may be provided for uniforms that are unserviceable or unsightly due to normal wear and tear. Uniforms damaged as a result of negligence or misuse will be replaced by the employee at the contract price.All issued uniforms will be returned to the employee’s manager/supervisor upon separation from the University. For more information, refer to PPDM, “Uniforms.”

Identification Badges

  • The Physical Plant Department provides employees with identification badges to provide a readily visible standardized form of picture identification.
  • All PPD employees must wear their assigned identification badge during all working hours (including special events and after-hours work). The badge must be visible and unobstructed by clothing.
  • Employees are responsible for their identification badges, and are expected to take reasonable care of them.
  • Employees with damaged or lost badges should have them replaced immediately, as the badges are used with the timekeeping system to record time worked. For more information, refer to PPDM, “I.D. Badges.”


The department may require employees in any job title or division to perform after-hour emergency standby duty. Your manager/supervisor must have your current home phone number so that you may be contacted if you are needed. In addition to pay for hours worked, pay for standby duty is two hours straight-time pay per day on weekdays, and four hours straight-time pay per day on weekends and holidays.

If you are on standby and become sick for an extended period of time, you need to notify your supervisor of your illness and be taken off of standby. During the time you are sick you will not receive standby pay. If you are on standby, but are not available to respond to an emergency, you will not receive emergency overtime. Only the employee who did respond to the emergency will receive emergency overtime. (See Emergency Call-back).

Standby cannot be converted to comp time. For additional information, refer to CWA Agreement, article 7, sections A and B, “Wages and Allowances” and US-UNM Agreement, article 15, section G, “On Call Pay.” 

Shift Differential

Non-exempt CWA bargaining unit employees whose normal work schedule requires more than four hours between 4:30 p.m. and midnight shall be paid an evening-shift differential of 40 cents per hour for all hours worked in that shift. Employees whose normal work schedule requires more than four hours between midnight and 8:00 a.m. shall receive a night-shift differential of 50 cents per hour for all hours worked in that shift.

Non-exempt US-UNM bargaining unit employees whose normal work schedule requires more than four hours between 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day shall be paid a shift differential of 5 cents per hour for the entire shift worked.

The shift differential is part of some employees’ base pay, and it is paid to others when the shift is worked. For additional information, refer to CWA Agreement, article 7, sections A and B, “Wages and Allowances” and US-UNM Agreement, article 5, section F, “Wage and Salary Administration.”

Emergency Call-back

Emergency call-back is paid to non-exempt employees who are called back to work after they have completed their normal workday. If you are called back to work, you must record the time only once as an emergency call-back, even if you need to check on multiple facilities. You are granted a minimum of two hours pay at time and one-half. This does not apply when the hours worked are an extension of your workday. Emergency overtime can be converted to compensatory time off. For additional information, refer to UBP #3500, “Wage and Salary Administration,” and CWA Agreement, article 8, “Overtime.”

Separation Check-off List

Upon leaving the University, you will be required to complete a Separation Check-off List. This process requires that each department on the list clear you from further responsibilities to their department (Benefits Office, Cashier, Lock Shop, Parking Services, etc.).

All issued University property (uniforms, tools, keys, etc.) must be returned to your manager/supervisor upon separating from the University.

Change of Address

Your home address, on record in the University Payroll Office, is needed to print your current information on each paycheck stub, W-2 form, and earnings statement. Any address changes or corrections must be reported to the PPD Accounting Office. The Accounting Office staff will then report changes to the University Payroll Office. It is your responsibility to notify the University of your current address.


In order for non-exempt and student employees to be paid on the biweekly payroll, the department must report time worked to the University Payroll Office for non-exempt employees, or to the University Student Employment Office for student employees in a timely manner. Timekeeping records are collected electronically through the employees’ PPD ID badge, and the badge reader system, which are located in the various work areas. For additional information, refer to the “Uniforms and Identification Badges” section of the handbook, and to the PPDM, “Timekeeping.”

Each workday, the minimum number of “swipes” in the timekeeping badge reader is one “swipe in” and one “swipe out.” If you leave work to attend to personal matters, you must swipe out and swipe in if you will be returning to work on the same day. Swiping in or out is not required for lunches or other breaks during the day. Under no circumstances are you to swipe in another employee’s card for them, nor may you allow them to do the same for you.

Documentation of all non-worked hours must be submitted to your manager/supervisor on the form entitled “Absence Report for Exempt and Non-exempt Personnel” when you return to work. Any other adjustments to your time will be made through a daily punch detail report. Under no circumstances are PPD accounting/payroll personnel and other employees with timekeeping system editing authorization, authorized to make adjustments (edits) to their own time through the timekeeping system. The only staff authorized to make these adjustments is PPD’s accounting manager, the associate director for Finance and Services, or the director.

Timekeeping punches will be reviewed daily on the punch detail report by your manager/supervisor, or the in-charge designee. Any edits to the report will be submitted to the PPD Payroll Office that day.

The timesheet printed at the end of the two-week period is the official time record for all non-exempt and student employees. At the end of the pay period, both the employee and their manager/supervisor must sign the employee timesheet, which is then kept on file in the PPD Payroll Office. For additional information, refer to UBP #2610, “Time Reporting for Biweekly Payrolls,” and to PPDM, “Timekeeping.”

Performance Review

Manager/Supervisor Responsibility

The University is committed to providing all staff with meaningful and timely performance reviews. Performance reviews are designed to determine how well employees achieve their established goals and perform job duties. Managers/supervisors are responsible for establishing departmental goals that contribute to the education, research, and public service mission of the University. They are also responsible for working with each employee in the department to establish individual employee goals and duties that contribute to both the departmental goals and the mission of the University. The University is committed to providing the resources necessary to review and recognize employees based on achievement and performance on a regular and ongoing basis. For additional information, refer to UBP #3230, “Performance Review and Recognition.”

Employee Responsibilities

After completing the performance review, you and your manager/supervisor will sign the performance review form. Your manager’s/supervisor’s signature indicates that they have followed the process and completed the form. Your signature indicates that you have read and understand the performance review. Your signature does not necessarily indicate agreement.

If you are a post-probationary employee and disagree with your written performance review, you may take the following steps:

  1. Attach a response to the performance review.
  2. Request reconsideration by the next level of manager/supervisor.
  3. Contact CWA or US-UNM if you are a union employee. Contact Dispute Resolution if you are a non-union employee.


Recognition and Awards

Performance recognition can take both monetary and non-monetary forms. Non-monetary recognition for achievement can include career development opportunities, certificates of appreciation, subscriptions to professional journals, and memberships in professional organizations.