Protest at UMES Over Outsourcing Proposal

Oct 31, 2013

Credit afsme maryland chapter website

Small group with green signs reading “No Layoffs” held a rally on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore yesterday with petitions bearing the names of students and staff.

They were protesting an outsourcing proposal that could lead to the layoff of 70 to 80 full and part-time food services worker on the campus after an audit found deficiencies in the current system.

University spokesman Bill Robinson says that if the jobs are contracted out the current employees would be able to apply for the new positions.

"These people aer well qualified to be food service employees and they should have any problems convincing a potential private sector vendor if one is chosen to bring them on board."

The American Federation State, County and Municipal Employees represents around a dozen food service workers.

Joe Hartman, president of the AFSME local, noted that there was no guarantee they would be hired and fears that this kind of outsourcing could spread to other jobs on the campus.

"Will the contracting out stop with dietary services or will it go to grounds keepers?," he said. "Housekeeper, the physical palnt?  Where does it stop once they start this.

University Spokesman Bill Robinson says there are no plans in the works for contracting out other services.

"We have not immediate plans for oursourcing. It's just no in the cards."

He notes also that there are less than a handful of institutions in the system that has in-house dietary services.

"I would point out at umes is one of three coolleges in the university system that has in-hosue food service, the other two are College Park and Salisbury University.

Robinson says that proposals will be evaluation but emphasizes no decision has been made on the outsourcing proposal.