Custodians of the Cesar Chavez Student Center presented their case today for larger severance payments to a board of university and Associated Students Inc. representatives, months after they lost seniority and paid vacation time.
“It will take 25 years to reach the same level of seniority,” said custodian Carlos Rosales to members of the board. “Other employees had their benefits roll over. We feel discriminated against.”
The custodians lost their contract with the Teamsters union after a 30 year lease between the student center and SF State expired July 1, which resulted in a change of management. Custodians have since been in negotiations over their new contract with the California State University Employee Union.
In a letter to the board, the custodians ask for severance packages equal to three weeks’ salary for each year worked. In a counter offer, Managing Director of the student center Guy Dalpe, offered between $5,000 and $1,000 to each custodian, depending on the number of years each has been employed.
“We have throughout this period of preparation and transition sent letters in various occasions, speaking about the problem at hand which is our rights and seniority privileges or lack thereof, ” the custodians said in the letter. “Unfortunately all work has been in vain as we have not had a response yet or an acknowledgement of our petition.”
Custodian Carlos Rosales spoke to a board that included Dalpe, Dean of Students Mary Ann Begley and several student representatives, telling stories of custodians who worked sick during the summer.
“We deserve it (the severance package),” said Rosales. “We do the hard and the dirty jobs.”
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