Chartwells Higher Education, a food service subsidiary of Compass Group USA, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AFSCME Council 75 re-recognizing AFSCME as the collective bargaining representative of roughly 90 food service workers employed by Chartwells at Portland State University.
AFSCME Local 1336 has represented those same workers for many years through at least two different food service contractors. With many student workers and high turnover within the bargaining unit staffing has been a perpetual concern. Representatives of AFSCME initiated a discussion with both PSU Administration officials and potential bidders last year when PSU elected to put the food service contract out to bid. The incumbent contractor was not successful in retaining that contract, losing out to Chartwells.
AFSCME's work on behalf of its members resulted in PSU pushing for Chartwells to hire AFSCME food service workers already employed at PSU first. Discussions between AFSCME and Chartwells then began over a successor collective bargaining agreement, finally resulting in a Memorandum of Agreement between AFSCME and Chartwells that continues union recognition while keeping status quo on the labor agreement that was ratified by our bargaining unit members little more than a year ago.
Chartwells officially takes over on July 1, but the real work begins when PSU students return to class in the Fall semester. And as has been the case for many years, AFSCME food service workers, now employed by Chartwells, will be ready to service their dietary needs.