A full story is coming in the Collegian tomorrow, but here is the final report from the Maintenance Management Advisory Panel (MMAP) founded after this summer’s Sodexo controversy. Here are several key points (though it’s worth reading the whole document):
Yesterday afternoon, a crowd of Maintenance workers and supporters gathered on Middle Path to “say no to Sodexo” and encourage the Maintenance Management Advisory Panel to consider their position while the panel met inside Finn House. The protest was billed as a peaceful and informational picket against outsourcing jobs, and The Thrill was there to take pictures.
In a release 20 minutes ago, the College announced its intention to form an advisory panel to consider how Kenyon will handle maintenance management in the future. As a result, the College has suspended negotiations with “an outside maintenance-management vendor.” As far as we know, Kenyon is not negotiating with any maintenance-management vendors besides Sodexo.
We’ll update you as we know more.
Update: If you missed it earlier, the forum can still be viewed by clicking on the link below and choosing the “On Demand” tab, then clicking “Watch” next to the relevant event.
Starting at 11:30 a.m., watch the forum live by clicking here. President Nugent and Barry Schwartz, chair of Kenyon’s board of trustees, will be answering questions from staff, faculty and students in the Bolton Theater.
Not on campus? Tweet your questions to @KenyonCollege. The Thrill will also be live-Tweeting the forum @TheKenyonThrill. Join the conversation with the hashtag #kenyonsodexo.
This afternoon, President S. Georgia Nugent made her first official statement on the College’s plan to outsource its maintenance management to Sodexo. In a long Q&A, Nugent attempted to dispel the rumors which have been circulating in the week since the College’s announcement. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Sodexo?
The French firm, which was founded in 1966, is “the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico” serving “10 million consumers in 6,000 locations every day,” and they employ nearly 380,000 people in 80 countries, according to company publicity materials.
In an interview with The Thrill this morning, Nugent cited the organization’s size as one of its chief appeals. “The size and range of Sodexo means that they have a very broad base of experience and resources. I believe they contract with approximately 800 colleges and universities in America. And so if part of what you’re trying to do is gain access to broader experience and resources, that kind of reach is an advantage.”
What is the proposal?
When United Electrical Workers, Machine and Radio Workers of America (UE) Local 712, Kenyon’s maintenance union, entered contract negotiations on June 5, they were informed that the College was in the final stages of signing a partnership with Sodexo that would give that firm managerial control over Kenyon’s maintenance operations. Nugent cautioned, however, that “one fact that is sometimes being overlooked in this discussion is that we are employing [Sodexo]; they’re not employing us. If we are not happy with the services or the practices of that organization, we won’t continue to employ them.”
Will anyone lose his or her job?
“The contract specifies that no positions will be lost,” Nugent said.