There’s change underfoot at OSU.

No, literally.  Along with wrappers, empty bottles, and a bunch of other garbage.  You might have noticed the buildings of the OSU campus becoming dirtier and dirtier lately.  That’s because, about a week before Christmas, the company that OSU contracts with for custodial service laid off about 1/3 of their workforce.

Why did they do that?  Because OSU cut the amount of money going to the company, GCA Services Group, by about 1/3, or $400,000.

Here’s how it went down:  Around December 18th, the entire custodial staff – 94 people – were called to an all-staff meeting at 6 AM, right at shift change.  It was announced that new runs (a run is the regular route for custodial staff) were being created.  Based on seniority, custodial staff picked new runs.  When they hit 61, the projector went off and employees were told that anyone who had not received a new route was now laid off.

One week before Christmas.  One week.

Services Employees International Union Local 083, or SEIU, is the union that represents the custodial workers.  They have released a petition for faculty, staff and students at OSU to sign that requests that OSU President Ray and Provost Randhawa restore the $400,000 to the GCA contract.

CGE is urging our members, and all graduate employees, to sign the petition (you can contact your CGE Rep about this as well).  There is a certain minimum level of service that must be maintained if OSU is going to function (to say nothing of the level necessary to actually attract people or the level necessary to prevent flu or other outbreaks), and right now, the services being offered are far below that level.

Online petition here.

Fact sheet about this issue here.

Corvallis Gazette-Times story on this here.

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