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


An Alternative To Economic Development

If local and state politicians are truly interested in improving the lives of the poor they should take a look at the recent study by Steven Horwitz of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Breaking Down the Barriers:  Three Ways State and Local Governments Can Improve the Lives of the Poor.  The study takes a look at the regressive effects of occupational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In August 2015

Those in the know tell me the month of August is National Peach Month, so as I take a stroll through garden, I am paying particular attention to the poppy and the gladiolus because they are the “birth flowers" of this month. But as we dole out our months Orchids and Onions, let’s substitute a peach and a pit, that hard seed you find when you bite into a peach. A PEACH to the ... (click for more)

Abdulazeez Apparently Went Target Shooting In River Gorge Area Prior To Rampage That Killed 5

A 24-year-old Hixson man who went on a rampage and killed five military personnel at Chattanooga apparently went target shooting in the Tennessee River Gorge area just beforehand. A Chattanoogan said he was canoeing the day before the shooting and heard Mohammad Abdulazeez shooting in the woods in a remote area. The man, who said he thought he was being shot at, looked ... (click for more)

Columnist Says Navy To Bring Charges Against Commander Of Chattanooga Naval Center Who Fired At Shooter

The Navy plans to bring charges against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, who fired shots at a Hixson man who on July 16 rammed through a gate at the facility on Amnicola Highway and killed four Marines and a sailor, columnist Allen West wrote. He said he received a text message confirming the charges are imminent against the Chattanoogan, who is the father of six and who has acknowledged ... (click for more)

CFC Returns To National Championship With 3-0 Semifinal Win

The Chattanooga Football Club didn't score until the 69th minute but after Chris Ochieng's first goal, they would score two more to earn a 3-0 win over visiting Indiana Fire.   The NPSL national semifinal win, before more than 9,200 fans, gives Chattanooga another shot at a national championship after losing to the New York Red Bulls U23 team in the 2014 final.   ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Chattanooga FC Shuts Out Indiana By 3-Nil