To the Editor;
We the Food Service workers at Fairfield University wish to speak to the Fairfield Community. We take pride in the work that we do and service that we provide to the students, faculty, administrative staff and support services. We have spent careers serving this community and consider ourselves valuable members. We would like to take this opportunity to raise an important issue regarding the bid process for food service companies. In November, prospective food service companies will be touring and formulating their proposals to operate the food service on campus. They will make their proposals in large part based on the “RFP” or Request For Proposals document issued by the administration. If the operators are not required to include the current employees and their union contract then there is a risk that we may lose our jobs and standard of living.
Many of us have worked on this campus for 15 to 20 to 30 years. We have worked hard to make these jobs meaningful. They are unionized food service jobs that provide for a modest but decent standard of living. If the “RFP” does not require the new companies to include us and our union contract then decade’s worth of fair wages and benefits could be lost.
In addition, we are concerned that our current employer is being put at an unfair disadvantage. Because Sodexo is our employer and they have entered into the contract, they are required to submit a bid including our wages and benefits. If other prospective companies are not also required to bid including our union contract they can undercut Sodexo merely by eliminating our quality wages and benefits. This is not a fair and level playing field.
It causes us great concern that our futures are in jeopardy. We call upon the University to ensure that the companies are bidding with the same guidelines, We ask that the University include us and our union contract in the “RFP.”
Local 217 Union Members, the Union leadership committee that represents the Food Service Workers at Fairfield University, the Food Service Workers at Fairfield University