Human Rights Start at Bard

Human Rights Start At Home, Support Bard Campus Workers

Human Rights at Bard

While Bard portrays itself as a progressive institution, the college’s relation to the workers on campus many times falls short of its image.  Lack of job security, low wages and lacking benefits are issues that face workers at Bard today.  Here are some of the issues that workers face this year.

Security Contract

Our Security staff is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the college.  They entered the negotiations requesting to hold onto the same contract they have worked under for the past three years, which befitted them a living wage and reasonable working conditions.  Much of this was due to the fact that their wages were tied to the wages of the lowest paid buildings and grounds (B&G) worker.  Now, the college wants to separate our security guards wages from the B&G workers.  This severing compromises the living wages of the people who make this campus safe.  In addition, the college is cutting corners by denying the security guards request for a minimum number of guards on campus at anytime.  This means longer waits for lock-outs and EMS calls.  Security guards are a relatively small group of workers on campus and their voices are not always heard by the administration.  Students can help support them in their contract struggle.  We would like to see Security receive a fair contract so that both the workers and students at Bard can feel secure.

Housekeepers

Aramark is gone. They have mistreated our workers and done a poor job of cleaning our campus for too long. The last thing we want to see is another profit hungry subcontractor come in and do the same things. In the past we have rallied and gotten our housekeepers a fair contract. In the past we rallied and got Aramark off campus.  Now is the crucial time to rally to make sure that Bard makes the right call and hires our housekeepers directly bringing them into Buildings and Grounds. Hiring the workers directly would strengthen worker power on campus by uniting the workers under the same union.  We need hundreds of students to rally and support workers on campus. Make a difference in real peoples lives.  December 2nd at 2:00pm starting in the Campus Center.

Chartwells at Bard

Chartwells workers at Bard work long hard hours to feed the student population under some of the worse working conditions on campus and earn poverty wages.  Chartwells is a multinational corporation under the Compass Group, which made $680 million in profits in 2010, but which is unwilling to offer a small staff of dining service workers at Bard a living wage.  A simple google search of Chartwells brings up headlines such as “Chartwells Serves Up Poor Quality Food and Long List of Scandals” and “Charwells good for profits, bad for students”.  Bard students pay a remarkable amount of money for our dining services only to have our workers disrespected, given sub-par ingredients and industrial food, and expected to work in unsafe conditions, such as the Kline tent this past summer.  We, the Student Labor Dialogue, are advocating for a new dialogue between students and workers in order to show respect for and support our workers in their struggle to be a part of this community and receive living wages and decent working conditions.

B&G

Later this year, Buildings and Grounds (B&G) workers will be facing new contract negotiations with the college.  B&G workers make this campus run. They are struggling to maintain contract gains won in previous years, including wage parity with Vassar College and Marist College and affordable family health care.  Moreover, their economic and job security continues to be jeopardized by management’s use of low wage subcontractors.  We stand with B&G workers and will fight to ensure they receive fair contracts.

How can you get involved?

-Come to our rally December 2nd at 2pm.

-Come to our table and make a video telling the administration how much you appreciate your workers and how you’d like to see the administration care about them as much as we do.  Or go online and make a video of your own and post it on the Human Rights Starts at Home: Bard College Student Labor Dialogue.

– Sign our petition for a fair contract for Security.

– Come to our weekly meetings: Thursday at 4:45 p.m. in the Red Room, Campus Center.

– Email/call members of the administration and tell them what you think.
Jim brudvig, VP of Administration
brudvig@bard.edu
Dimitri Papadimtriou: Executive VP of Administration
papadimitriou@bard.edu