Nearly a month has past since the custodial and clerical union at West Chester University, came to The Quad to reveal grievances against UNICCO, an integrated facilities services. According to the union representative Beth Cooper, no improvements have been made. In fact, she said “things have gotten worse.” One problem the union AFSCME presented was the unsafe chemicals used by custodians to clean residence halls.
There was a grievance put forth to remove the crew shower cleaner, and according to Cooper, this was planned to be removed.
However, due to a lack of communication, according to Copper, between Mike Quigg, director of custodial services and Tom O’Keffe, a supervisor, the productis still in use.
In regards to the residence halls-specifically concerning the demolition and rebuilding of halls such as Wayne Hall-other companies, unaffiliated with the University, are actually outbidding AFSCME’s prices to clean and maintain halls.
According to Article one of the AFSCME contract entitled “Recognition,” 2005-2008, “The Employer will not aid, promote or finance any labor group, organization or individual which purports to engage in collective bargaining, or negotiate with any individual unit member or make any agreement with any individual for the purpose of undermining the Union or changing any condition in this Agreement.”
“We have the right to clean and maintain (the dorms),” Cooper said,
According to Cooper and Barb Parrish, an employee of 21 years, in Goshen Hall, there used to be an employee on every floor and a half. Now, there are four, cleaning each building.
There have been more long-term injuries in the last year than there have been in the last five years.
“We’re short-staffed [and] we’re bound to have injuries,” Parrish said.
“In the years that I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen it so bad,” Cooper said
Thirty grievances have been presented this year, and according to Cooper, that is the most they have ever declared.
On Thursday May 3, from noon to 1 p.m., in front of Sykes Student Union an informational picket will be held. According to Cooper, State Senator Andy Dinniman will be present as well.
According to Cooper, the employees have been educated on “union-busting tactics,” that have made employees aware of working conditions.
Cooper said, “We can’t let them bust our union.