Comments by UTK37914

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Written on UT Holds Meetings to Address Custodians' Accusations, But They Don't Seem to Calm Nerves:

“There are no happy workers. The only happy workers on the planet are those that have ownership and control over their workplace.”
If everyone accepted this notion then why would anyone work at all? No employee has complete control of their workplace. What kind of statement is this? There are plenty of people who come to work and do a good job regardless of policy and regulation because having a job gives purpose and doing it well produces quality work and gives pride. Somewhere we all fall on the spectrum of happy, content, apathetic or disgruntled. When the few people who were accustomed to not doing 8 hours of work (under old management) were placed in areas that needed attention and expected to perform, they became disgruntled.
Not all of us saw our change in management as negative. Mr. Irvin came to UT to help transform a somewhat backwards and in many ways antiquated department that had no real cohesive objective-- a reactive response department to say the best. Facilities Services has upgraded its expectations to serve the university and its goals, to become proactive and engaging with other university departments. The reorganization has been a huge endeavor. Students, staff, faculty and visitors are our “customers” who we service, aka customer service. We, as Facilities employees are the most diverse and largest department on campus, and have recently been better funded than under any previous administration. A career path for Building services (custodial) is being approved and the Cleaning Management Institute training program is being offered for up to a 9% pay increase- more competitive than any state raise. Why can’t the union laud this? I would think any concerned union member would praise these changes. If they knew the full story would they?
I can’t comment on individuals, but as university employees, we have grievance procedures that should be confidential and dealt with through this process. How would the union know if some or all of these disgruntled employees had work performance attendance problems? This media coverage is one-sided shoddy journalism. You should have the facts or at least objective viewpoints before you cover a sensationalized story. If the fault lies in the breakdown with this process then investigate it. Reconsider who you defame before you have the full story.
And please, don’t condescend or insult my intelligence as a custodian. We come from different backgrounds, have varying degrees of education and know what it means to put sweat and tears into our jobs-- that most people rarely notice until it’s not done. It means a lot to me to have reliable co-workers who want to do the same hard work I do and not have to pick up their slack because they can’t make it to work on a regular basis, don’t get a vehicle or have a 2-way radio taken away. We are essential to the daily operations of UT. Mediocrity is no good anymore. I challenge my fellow custodians to step up and re-evaluate why and how we serve.

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