So I’ve emailed Wendy and we’re waiting on an email from the union steward who deals with bargaining and the others I have contacted yesterday. In the mean time, Delmar Crim, Bon Appetit’s district manager has emailed me with his response:
Thanks for the time that you took to reach out to better understand our challenges regarding the dining service that we are charged to be providing you.
My first reaction is to apologize. In the thirty years plus that I have had in the hospitality food service industry, the first rule is to protect the customer from the challenges that we incur to bring the service to your table. That being said, I realize that I am now privileged to be a part of a culture that is interested in more than just what is in it for me attitude.
I personally take partial information as a bit of an affront. Out of respect to you and the student body that ultimately pays all of our salaries, I will try to be as transparent as possible in depicting a comprehensive disclosure of our business.
The average pay of our bargaining unity employees is 18.65 per hour. You could literally go from Las Vegas to the Atlantic shore and not find a richer average rate. The benefit package is fully paid by Bon Appetit “actually you”. Again this is a package that simply cannot be topped. It is a better package than administration, management, or mine. The health insurance is fully paid for by the employer, again almost unheard of. I can, if you would like, provide full details. But for the benefit of this communication, I will tell you that the comprehensive package costs you over sixty percent of the wage. This comes to a little over twenty thousand per year per person.
Normally food costs should range between thirty and thirty three percent in our end of the business, and labor just about the same. The balance is for cleaning supplies, paper products and if we run our business well some profit. The current labor model labor runs over fifty percent. As I have said a hundred times in conversations and negotiations, I am happy to be a party to a culture that the hourly workers are able to have a living wage. The facts are that with the high rate of compensation, we need to closely manage labor resources. With all of this expense, we still need to purchase great food for you to eat.
In the past there have been venues “Davenport” with many Monday through Friday jobs. Now there is a new center with seven day a week service and some shifts are weekend shifts. There really is no way around that if we are going to provide seven day a week service. Some people will have to work on weekends that are not used to it etc. That is what you pay us to do!
Our opening schedule reflects sixty nine full time employees. Last year Aramark had sixty eight. True to my promise of transparency, I will tell you that some of the concern is about people not getting benefits that got them last year. As I mentioned earlier business needs have changed. Everyone over twenty hours per week is eligible for full time benefits. Some of the jobs because of business needs have been reduced in hours or increased. Traditionally full time benefits kick in somewhere around thirty hours worked per week usually thirty two. Here they kick in at twenty hours per week. So not only do we have more full time benefit positions available, the positions are much richer in hours. In addition to this there are many more part time positions available. Some people are going to be asked to make some adjustments. Things have changed, it is of course our goal to have these changes reflect a positive net gain for you, and the bargaining unit team members that make all of this possible.
I need to also point out that assigning specific people to slots or schedules is not in our control as per the CBA. It is up to everyone to bid on the jobs available and through the bidding and bumping process procure the job that best fits their need.
Please feel free to distribute this to your peers or who ever else you would think relevant.