Union President Weighs In on Sodexo Decision

Yesterday, the Collegian spoke with Robert Smith, president of UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America) Local 712, Kenyon’s maintenance union. Here’s some of what he had to say about the College’s decision, his union’s reaction and their upcoming negotiations:

We hadn’t heard any rumors. We were never approached by the company saying they were thinking about doing this or anything. It was just kind of dumped in our lap.

A lot of our guys have been here for a long time, and they’re just sickened by it. Sickened to the point that you have a problem putting one foot in front of the other.

 It’s just shocking to me that they would even invite a company like that on campus to give them a quote in the first place.

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Updated: Faculty Responds to Sodexo Partnership

Via Wikimedia Commons

In response to the backlash following the College’s partnership with the management firm Sodexo, faculty members are currently engaged in serious email correspondence concerning the presence of the company at Kenyon. As community members and alumni do not have access to all-stu or all-emp and are therefore excluded from these conversations, The Thrill has received permission to republish these emails for the community at large. Emails appear in chronological order after the jump. Check back for updates. We will add to this post as more emails are sent.

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Kohlman: Maintenance Staff Will Keep GLCA Tuition Benefits Under Sodexo, Contract Hasn’t Been Completed Yet (UPDATED)

Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman (via kenyon.edu)

Update: A commenter has said that the benefits Kohlman is referring to extend only to non-union employees such as managers and office staff. Last night, Kohlman told us that the issue hadn’t been discussed with the union yet. We regret any confusion our original post may have caused.

Original post: Mark Kohlman, the College’s chief business officer, has confirmed to us that, while working on the Kenyon campus for Sodexo, managerial and support staff within the maintenance department will continue to receive the tuition exchange benefit they received as Kenyon employees. Following the College’s announcement that they would be entering into an agreement with Sodexo, an email was circulated that called into question whether this benefit would continue to exist for maintenance employees working for Sodexo.

A release put out earlier today by the College said that three members of the maintenance department have chosen to retire, while eight will stay on with Sodexo. Continue reading

Kenyon to Host Public Forum on Sodexo

Via Wikimedia Commons

Kenyon Today announced there will be a public forum to discuss the College’s agreement with Sodexo on June 22 at 11:00 a.m. in Peirce Pub. Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman will “answer questions about the agreement with Sodexo to manage maintenance, custodial and ground-keeping services at the College,” according to the announcement. The College also provided information on the steps it has taken thus far in transitioning to Sodexo. Read the full article on Kenyon Today.

The Thrill is still waiting for official comments from Kohlman and President S. Georgia Nugent.

President Nugent Currently in Cuba With Alumni Association

To those calling for a response to the Sodexo controversy from President S. Georgia Nugent:

As we’ve reached out to Nugent for comment, we have learned that she’s currently out of the United States and in Cuba on an Alumni Association trip. We can assume she left her beret behind.

Save some pressed Cuban sandwiches for us!