Tag Archives: USLAC

What’s Going on With the Fight for a $15/Hour Minimum Wage at Wesleyan?

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Full disclosure: I’m a member of USLAC and one of the proponents of the resolution discussed in this feature.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the resolution that passed at Sunday night’s WSA meeting but probably not because the only WSA-related things we hear about are Argus controversies with its ~concise, catchy~ title, “Resolution to Raise the Minimum Wage for Wesleyan Students.” All jokes aside, that’s exactly what it aims to do. The resolution, proposed by a group of WSA members working with members of student groups United Student/Labor Action Coalition (USLAC) and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), seeks to address the issue of overworked students and their low wages.

USLAC Meeting

From Aviv Rau ’19:

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Interested in worker’s rights? Want higher wages for
students, Sun Services staff, construction workers, and others both on and off campus? Wesleyan’s United Student Labor Action Coalition is
definitely the student group for you. Come check out this week’s
meeting and get involved! *Snacks will be served.*

Date: Tuesday, March 29
Time: 9:00 PM
Place: UOC

 

Workers and students meet for lunch… you’ll never believe what happens next

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Umm… Hey! What are you doing Friday? USLAC is hosting a gathering (the only one this semester!) for students to come together to listen to workers’ experiences. Workers are giving up their lunch break to tell us about what is like to work at Wesleyan and their concerns for this semester. If you consider yourself an ally, come listen about how you can be a partner to the workers this year.

Date: Friday, October 3, 2014
Time: 12 PM
Place: 200 Church

Worker Student Solidarity Meeting postponed until next Friday

Because the custodial workers had a long meeting with Sun Services early this morning and heavy workloads for the rest of today, some workers requested that the meeting (originally scheduled for today at 12PM) be moved to next Friday at noon.

We (the United Student Labor Action Committee) are still planning on having this meeting, but are moving it to next week. We invite everyone to come hear the stories of people who work on our campus.

Date: Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Time: 12PM
Place: 200 Church Street Lounge

USLAC’s first meeting

From Sara Swaminathan ’17:

USLAC (united student/labor action coalition) is having our first meeting of the school year this Wednesday at 4:15 in the UOC. Come get involved in advocating for the workers on Wesleyan’s campus! We’ll explain who we are and how you can get involved. We’re already brimming with exciting ideas for this year, and are eager to hear yours.

Date: Friday, September 19th
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: University Organizing Center (in btwn Beta and Eclectic)

Public Forum on Labor at Wesleyan

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A message from USLAC: 

Have a voice and want to use it?
Join us in thoughtful, open discussion regarding labor at Wesleyan. Members of the custodial, dining, and maintenance staff as well as administrators and students will be sharing their experiences and expressing their concerns about working conditions on campus. There will also be an open-mic  for audience members to share their thoughts and ask questions.
This is a unique opportunity for the whole Wesleyan community to come together in conversation, reflection and solidarity- we hope to see you there!
Date: Wednesday, April 9
Time: 7pm – 9 pm
Place: Daniel Family Commons, Usdan
Cost: Free

Worker/Student Solidarity Meeting

Ari Ebstein from USLAC wants to hear your opinions!

These issues include:A meeting of the souls! a space for Wesleyan workers, both custodial and dining services, to communicate with each other and with the student community recent issues that have arisen.

These issues include:
-the threatening of ESL classes for custodians
-suspension of seven workers for leaving a few hours early during a snowstorm, when no managers or supervisors were there
-contract negotiations with Bon Appetit workers

Come at either 12:30 or 3:30 !!! :D

And we’ll be organizing for future events, including a public forum at the end of march. come, listen, and show solidarity!

When: Thursday, February 27th
Time: 12:30pm or 3:30pm
Where: 200 Church

WSA Passes USLAC Resolution in Favor of Better Working Conditions for Custodial Staff

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A few weeks ago, I posted a three-part post about the conditions of Wesleyan’s contracted custodial staff (which can be read here, here, and here). Shortly thereafter, the WSA and USLAC drafted a resolution to support the workers push for better custodial conditions, which passed unanimously this past Sunday. Here’s a message from USLAC about this:

On Sunday, October 13, the WSA voted unanimously to pass a USLAC resolution affirming that subcontracted workers are part of the Wesleyan community. The Wesleyan student body demands that Wesleyan create and adhere to our own ethical standards for subcontracted workers. No longer will we look to peer institutions or industry standards to dictate the working conditions in our community.

The resolution encourages the administration to amend their contract with Sun Services and expand the custodial work force by five full-time positions. This will entail the promotion of temporary staff to the status of full-time staff and the creation of an additional full-time position. This and other demands are detailed in the resolution. To read the full content, click here. 

Why Dorm Showers Aren’t Getting Cleaned: An FAQ About Wesleyan and Its Contracted Custodial Staff – Part III of III

Part I | Part II | Part III

Students, custodial staff, and other community members protest at the Saturday, September 21 evening football game.

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This is Part III of a trilogy of posts addressing the problems faced by Wesleyan’s contracted custodial labor. Part I discussed why the University contracts custodial staff, and how they ended up employing Sun ServicesPart II involves the custodial staff’s protests in summer 2013 and how both the University and Sun Services responded – or did not respond. This post, Part III, covers the current state of affairs in late September 2013, focusing on what we – as students, community members, faculty, and staff – can do to help.

If you didn’t yet read parts I and II, that’s fine; this is the most important of the three posts. But a few points to cover what was discussed in the last two:

  1. By contracting custodial labor, the University avoids bad publicity, diffuses blame, avoids being the recipient of pointed fingers, and divides custodial staff from students, faculty, and staff. The University and Sun Services have bounced complaints about working conditions back and forth between them throughout the last year or so, and few changes have been made.
  2. The custodial staff are being stretched too thin. This was an issue under ABM Industries (the custodial contractor before Sun Services) and continues to be an issue today. Because of point #1, it is hard to figure out whether the University or the contractor is to blame for this.
  3. The current staff of 50 feel that their workload is unreasonable. Sun Services says that it is reasonable. The union can’t do anything until it has evidence of unreasonable working conditions. The University avoids all questions and discussions about the issue, batting them to Sun Services.

Part III: Working Conditions Today and What You Can Do To Help

Q: You said in the last post that the custodians have been pressured to signing onto unreasonable positions. What are some examples of the new working schedules to which custodians have been assigned?
A: There are two custodians who are in charge of cleaning all the Foss Hill dorms – this means WestCo 1-4, Nics 5-7, and Hewitt 8-10. They clean these daily. The title of this post series comes about because, when there are only two people cleaning 10 dorms, bathrooms get quite dark indeed.

While there were once several custodians who cleaned the Butts, there are now two custodians in charge of cleaning Butt A, Butt B, and Butt C daily. This means probably upwards of 90 bathrooms, a hundred hallways, dozens of lounges, three kitchens, and three laundry rooms, among others. Keep in mind that, if you’re a junior or senior, the Butts that you remember housed far fewer people than the Butts that these custodians clean now.

One custodian is in charge of cleaning Farm House, Buddhist House, Full/Writing House, Music House, La Casa, Art/Light House, Russian House, and University Relations – every day.