Don’t blame Food Services staff for deficit

RE: Food services accumulate tremendous deficit, Feb. 2

I am responding to an article in the Feb. 2 Cord and also thanking Doug Roberts for his support. As a food service associate I resent the statement from the food service director“…labour costs as a major contributing factor to financial woes.” I also resent the statement by Dan Dawson that “The collective agreement…was definitely not in the university’s best interests.”

In 2000, Aramark was hired to manage Food Services. There was no deficit then. The Food Services full time labour force and its associated costs including benefits that Aramark complains about, are relatively the same as they were then. Now the accumulated deficit is $3.6 million. What is the difference? How did this same labour force suddenly become so expensive?

In reference to Dan Dawson’s comment about our collective agreement not being in the university’s best interest; that is what a collective agreement is. Management and UFCW members met, agreed, disagreed and compromised. That is what constitutes an agreement. The net wage increase in the current agreement is about half that of the previous two agreements and is lower than that for other bargaining units at the university.

Benefits are the same across all staff and faculty in WLU. Comparing us to workers in “regular restaurants” is not applicable if we are to be providing a service to students and not in competition with “for profit” organizations.

—Carolyn Marchand

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