Erlanger Should Let Sodexo Workers Transition To New Food Service Contractor

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is Erlanger about to assault the working poor?

Very few in living within the Chattanooga city limits would be able to say they did not know someone who received care from the city’s only public hospital. Indeed many of us were birthed at Erlanger and continue to rely on the necessary medical services they provide. Erlanger is chartered for the public good of providing medical care, but also serves the public good in being one of Chattanooga’s largest employers.

Erlanger’s Board of Trustees on 11/21 will consider a proposal to outsource its janitorial and food service jobs to Aramark.

The move is estimated to save Erlanger $3 million annually while bartering a $10 million kitchen upgrade. On the surface, the move seems logical given Erlanger’s hope to become more profitable. Upon further evaluation there is a huge problem with the treatment plan – workers employed under Sodexo’s 27-year contract are not guaranteed to be hired by the new vendor.

Now, all of the current workers hired directly by Erlanger will automatically transition to Aramark with the same salary and seniority. However, Sodexo employees may face a pink slip. Erlanger should treat Sodexo employees equally as all have overseen nutrition and cleanliness at the hospital. Aramark indicated it would hire additional employees; should not Sodexo workers be guaranteed first position?

The above question is just the tip of the iceberg though. Erlanger has to ensure that its employment policies do not have a “disparate impact” on disadvantaged persons (women, minorities, veterans). Simply put, “disparate impact” is a neutral decision made which has an unjust discriminatory impact. For example, if the employees currently employed by Erlanger are predominately men and those working for Sodexho are majority women, Aramark’s proposed move to only retain the Erlanger employed workers unintentionally has a “disparate impact”.

It is important that the Erlanger Board of Trustees properly diagnose this problem and affirmatively show no disparate impact exists with the approval of Aramark’s contract. Automatically cutting Sodexo employees may result in a sickening position for Erlanger’s bottom line.

Patrick Kellogg

Community Organizer



Roy Exum: Evil This Way Comes

There is a line in Act IV of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, as some of the 20,000 students at Middle Tennessee State are taught, that reads: "By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes." The professors explain that in the 16 th century the “pricking of thumbs” meant an intuition of evil about to happen and every student at MTSU knows several white supremacy ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Bill Pennington, a sports writer for the New York Times, was lamenting the “huddle” is slowly disappearing in football due to the faster pace of the game and, during his search for more information, he called former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Bill wrote that Joe couldn’t stop laughing about the funny things that would happen between plays. Joe told this story: ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

Mocs Mueller Nets Game Winner In 1-0 Soccer Win

Jordan Mueller picked up her own pass and pushed a shot into an empty net to give Chattanooga 1-0 Southern Conference women’s soccer win over Wofford on Senior Day at Finley Stadium on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.   “Pure grit by Jordan Mueller,” Chattanooga head coach Gavin McKinney said. “She is a gritty, tough, hardworking kid and it showed for the goal. She went and pressed ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Alabama Smashes Tennessee 45-7

(This story has been updated) Tennessee, a 34-point underdog in one of college football’s better long-running series, stayed close for one quarter before top-ranked Alabama switched to another gear and pummeled the struggling Vols, 45-7, Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The rock-ribbed Crimson Tide defense locked down Tennessee’s ground game, hounded quarterback ... (click for more)