On Wednesday, September 28, the Alliance filed a group grievance on behalf of food
service employees over safety concerns related to new duties placed on the employees this school year. After the district made a budget decision to cut custodial positions, the duties previously being performed by those custodians were added to the food service employees’ duties.
Those duties include:
- Cleaning and mopping the cafeteria
- Lifting heavy garbage bags and placing them in a large trash bin
- Pushing and pulling the large trash bin from the kitchen to the dumpster
- Lifting the heavy garbage bags from the bin and throwing them into the dumpster
These new duties present risks of on-the-job injuries from heavy lifting, pulling, and pushing. The risk of injury is heightened by pressure to rush to complete the new duties, as well as the regular food service tasks, in the same amount of time as prior to the addition of the new duties. The additional duties are substantially different from the job descriptions in place as the time the food service employees applied for their
In addition to concerns about the safety of the employees, there are concerns about the risk of food contamination. The Alliance raised concerns about the situation at the September Consultation meeting with the administration. The Alliance has also sent out a survey/log to get feedback from food service employees on the issues at hand. The survey/log is due back to the Alliance office by October 12. Feedback from the survey/log will provide useful information as the Alliance moves forward on the issues.
The Alliance is the only organization helping food service employees to organize and advocate on these concerns.