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Union: UConn violated union contract by privatizing custodial jobs without notice

University of Connecticut main campus in Storrs, Connecticut.
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The University of Connecticut is under fire after union representatives say UConn violated their contract when it hired custodians through a private contractor.

Representatives from the Connecticut Employees Union Independent (CEUI) say the University of Connecticut violated their contract when it moved 20 union workers from the athletic facilities to other locations on campus and hired new custodians through a private contractor.

The university did not notify the union before making the new hires, which violates their contract with CEUI, according to chapter president Carl Chisem.

“According to the contract, they’re supposed to gather all this information, and bring it to us and explain why they’re doing this,” Chisem said. “They haven't done that.”

Once the union confronted UConn about the problem, Chisem said, the maintenance staff administrator claimed that contracted employees would be less expensive and would be better-equipped for the job.

“But they haven’t given us the evidence to show us that,” Chisem said.

Private contractors are not eligible for union membership, which Chisem said could weaken the union’s bargaining power.

UConn declined a request for an interview but said in a statement that “the University is limiting its public discussions on this matter out of respect for that process, and looks forward to productive conversations with those involved.”

CEUI is planning what they call an anti-privatization protest rally on campus Friday.

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