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


Proper English

According to a news report, the University of Pittsburgh is now telling students what is and is not proper English. This "suggestion" has nothing to do with a desire to create a more expressive, imaginative, or beautiful world of language. "Proper" is that which is "gender-inclusive" and "non-sexist." Use of improper language in classrooms and elsewhere on campus will be considered ... (click for more)

Find A Pathway For Citizenship

When I served as sheriff of Bradley County, we partnered with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Criminal Alien Program to help ensure illegal aliens from any nation who committed other crimes in Bradley County were deported when they finished their sentence.   At one point, I recall seeing that we had turned over about 250 criminal illegal aliens to ICE for deportation, ... (click for more)

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49, Dies In Red Bank Home Destroyed By Fire; Case Ruled Arson/Suicide

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49,  died in a house fire in Red Bank early Friday morning after the homeowner said he was awakened by popping sounds. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said the case is being considered an arson/suicide. He said, " At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Red Bank Fire and Police departments responded to a residential fire at 604 Bitsy Lane where they discovered ... (click for more)

Attorney Gets Misdemeanor Plea In 2nd Case Involving Sexually Harassing Waitress

A Chattanooga attorney who was charged for the second time with sexually harassing a waitress has pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to a reduced charge. In the latest case, Charles D. Lawson had been charged with aggravated sexual battery after an incident at a local restaurant involving a waitress. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said Lawson pleaded guilty to the B misdemeanor ... (click for more)

Memorial Service For Lynn Trent is Sunday June 26

 “To all who knew Lynn this (his death) is truly sad news. My friendship with Lynn goes back to the 70's.I was always the better for having seen Lynn on any trip home and know no one more dedicated to or who loved the Mocs any more than Lynn.” UTC Alum and Actor Dennis Haskins   We have lost a friend. Actually a great friend. One who was dedicated ... (click for more)

Red Bank Stays Unbeaten With Win Over Waterdogs

The Red Bank Gators are now a win away from claiming first place in the White division of the Chattanooga Area Swim League. Facing the Waterdogs from Cleveland in a battle of unbeaten teams at Red Bank Thursday night, the Gators clinched at least a tie for first place with a 403-366 victory in a meet that was much closer than that 37-point margin might otherwise indicate. ... (click for more)