Friday, June 27, 2014

Open Letter From UWS Janitor Threatened With Outsourcing

My name is Glenn Khalar. I am the custodian in the JDH Library. I am also a veteran.

We on this campus have a program for Veterans to help them find new jobs and retrain them. As a veteran myself, hired on this campus partially because I'm a veteran, I am saddened to think that now we may be outsourced instead of looking out for our interests as we claim to do on this campus. I am not the only veteran on this campus that would be affected by outsourcing. This is a great concern of mine, as well as other concerns that I have.

I was raised here, brought up a family here, lived in the country my whole life and in this community. I was taught common sense, caring, looking out for others, being honest and team work. Now, I come to the UWS campus to find out that people of authority can stretch the truth. There is no real team work here and I see a lot of greed from people that have plenty to give. I don't see community support, looking out for the student's best interest as well as the University's interest.

These are a few of my examples of why you should not outsource jobs:

I have been on this campus now for 16 years. I've put out three fires. I stopped a bike theft from happening with the help of Campus Safety. I've found numerous floods on my watch. I've found broken out windows and doors. I know when the air handlers are not working in a building. I know when something is out of the ordinary that needs attention from Facilities Management. Not to speak of the numerous students that I've personally shoveled out when they are stuck in the parking lots and even on the road as I'm leaving for home. I've found numerous lost and found items that are sometimes very valuable and have turned these items in, always. These are some of the things you will loose when I am outsourced.

Just this year, I got a new used car. During the last snow storm, coming to work to shovel and clear snow for the campus, I damaged the whole front end of my car which still is not fixed because I can't afford to fix it. I have stayed in town so I am here to shovel and clear snow for the campus. Again, these are the things that you will not receive from outsourced people. I've taken pride in my job and my work. I show kindness from my heart to those I work with and to students and their parents. I have assisted numerous students and parents when they have needed direction on campus. I've even showed a professor how to load a stapler. Surprising, that I make $12.00 an hour and others are making way too much money.

We, as custodians and grounds employees, are team players as we've gotten together to set up numerous functions for the campus or for the public. I've come in numerous times on my time off to clean up vomit, human waste and chewing tobacco. Not to mention, thousands of cigarette butts and trash outside of buildings. These things may not be done if we are outsourced. The big set ups for functions may not be done also. I, as well as other custodians, always help staff, students and administration/management when they needed it on a day to day basis. Whether it is opening a door, helping to carry items in and out of buildings or anything asked of us.

I was taught that hard work would get you somewhere in life, when in reality, it has proven to get me taken advantage of on job duties and now to tell me that all of my hard work doesn't mean anything here.

This is going to hurt the community, something severe, and hurt the campus and affect all students coming to this campus in the future. If you are really concerned about your campus, your students and your community then you would not even be thinking of outsourcing us. Considering there are not a lot of decent jobs in this area, you are now asking 28 employees to go even further backwards, financially, in life and maybe even losing their homes. If others on this campus were more caring and giving to the employees that needed it, it would make the campus community a much better place for all and our students for this area of Superior.

I am not trying to offend anyone. If this hurts you in any way, shape or form, then the truth hurts. I want to see the campus thrive with more students and put us on the map as a caring and concerning campus for not only the students and their family members but for the employees and the community as well.

Please don't outsource our jobs. Pay us a fair salary to live on and raise our families and keep our homes. As we all love this little town we call Superior, Wisconsin.

Being ex-military, I've seen a lot of good leaders. What makes a good leader:

Leadership Equals Leading By Example

1. Chancellor - asking the custodians and grounds to sacrifice our pay for less is wrong for administration who have the most to give financially by taking a pay cut or never accepting another raise with the amount of money you make in a year. The Chancellor could easily give up all of the free perks that come with the job and/or pay out of your own pocket these expenses which are housing, travel, vehicle, food and even parking permit. When having to travel out of town, down state, to so called important meetings we now have a thing called Skype that could save a lot of money by keeping you here on campus where you are needed the most and not out of town costing us money.

2. Administration - Cutting all made up supervisor and administration positions that were not needed in the first place could save quite a few jobs from that alone.

3. If you cannot take a pay cut or stop accepting raises, then you could truly make donations into a trust fund for the employees of the campus. Depending on your salary, it could be anywhere from $5,000 - $100,000.
4. You may not be able to control this but you can influence the way the money is allocated as this is a broken system and has been from day one. Just doing this alone would save everyone's job and still give them a decent raise at the end of the year. Most important of all, we wouldn't be wasting tax payers' dollars foolishly.

I ask, as a little person, that maybe we start a new trend showing the community, as well as the world (
USA), that we can be strong, caring and giving by just tackling one or two of the above statements. Possibly by leading the way, others of wealth and powerful positions may follow your example of a true, caring and concerning leadership.

What a world this would be if everyone pitched in. So, let's put Superior, Wisconsin on the map and show the community members as well as the staff and the campus that you're willing to truly show you care about the campus and the students and all of the employees. If this is done, I believe not only will you have more students coming to this school they will see that you are willing to give back to the campus and truly showing your support to the campus, students, employees and community members. This could work.

This is truly USA strong, community strong and campus strong while looking out for the future students and employees.

We are the eyes and ears of the campus. You'll never get better security and job performance on day to day operations, public functions and knowledge of the job as you will from the custodians and grounds on this campus if we are outsourced. We do take pride in the campus and our buildings and look out for everyone, staff, students and community members. We've all been given special training with our jobs and you'd be losing these things as well.

As an ex-military man, don't throw all of the people overboard that make this ship float. Let's be people friendly and caring and caring for those who do so much for so little.

Glenn Khalar
Librarian Custodian

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