Enterprise Article Misleadingly Suggests Sodexho Workers’ Pay Now On Par with UC Employees

Even in the Davis Enterprise’s yearly synopsis of their top stories, they find a way to summarize events in a misleading way. Reading through the entire article, there were several points that were off including on the school district. We will discuss that at length in the coming weeks so for right now, we focus on their story No.4, the Struggle for Fair Pay.

Let us start by giving them kudos for acknowledging the Sodexho food worker protests as the fourth biggest story for 2007.

However this statement could not have been more false:

“In August, Sodexho announced it would raise pay and benefits to be on par with those paid by the university. The increases will add about $2 million in annual costs for dorm residents.”

As we reported at the time, neither the wages nor the benefits will be on par with those paid by the university.

As we reported in August, the university added $2 million to the pay and benefits for the still outsourced-Sodexho workers. However, it would only cost the university an additional $1.2 million to bring these workers in as full university employees.

In other words, to say that these rates are “on par” with university employees is flat out false. A large amount of the difference is in the benefits package, where workers have to pay out of pocket for their health benefits. This means that from the salary they actually do get, they are having to pay as much of a quarter of their income for health insurance. And health insurance that pales in comparison to the type of coverage they would get as a full university employee.

While this picture has improved over the course of the year as the result of workers organizing, it is still not on par with what a university employee would get for wages, benefits, and other factors. Health coverage costs are now half what they once were with an added monthly stipend for other treatment. However, there is no vision or dental insurance. There are no benefits for those workers who only work 20 hours per week.

The salary comparison is both interesting and misleading as well. The wage increase has brought Sodexho workers within a dollar in most cases of their unionized university counterparts. However even that is somewhat misleading. The Sodexho wage compares with the very bottom of the pay scale for the university employee. However, whereas in most cases the university employee will get as much as a four dollar per hour wage increase during the course of their employment, the Sodexho worker is basically earning a flat wage.

Conditions for Sodexho Workers have certainly improved. This frankly would not have happened without the kind of organizing they did. Anyone who believes unions are irrelevant needs to recognize that these changes did not occur on their own. However, all these workers are asking for is to have the befits of full-time university employees.

it would only take an additional $1.2 million to fully bring in these workers as university employees. That sounds like a lot to the average person but to put this into perspective, this amounts to less than one-quarter of one percent of the operating expenses of the university. That would be like an individual who makes $50,000 having to adjust their budget to include an addition $125 payment. It may not be painless, but it should not break the bank either.

The University has used the issue of balancing student fees with employees wages and yet that is not the only source of money that can be freed up to pay for these expenses. The university continues to give lucrative wages and increases to their upper administration while trying to hold the line on people making very marginal incomes, while at the same time they have structured the pay increase to attempt to directly pit workers against students. It does not have to be that way.

Unfortunately when the public is being told that Sodexho workers have received pay and benefits that are “on par” with those of university employees, they are being told misleading information. It is little wonder that the public thinks this issue has been put to bed.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Labor Issues

44 comments

  1. Thank you for the update DPD. The Enterprise article was misleading and one would never know – unless they read the Vanguard – that the Sodexho workers are not on par with UC employees.

    I was about to re-enroll in the alumni association, but will wait until this issue gets resolved. I hope Larry realizes that it makes us look bad.

  2. Thank you for the update DPD. The Enterprise article was misleading and one would never know – unless they read the Vanguard – that the Sodexho workers are not on par with UC employees.

    I was about to re-enroll in the alumni association, but will wait until this issue gets resolved. I hope Larry realizes that it makes us look bad.

  3. Thank you for the update DPD. The Enterprise article was misleading and one would never know – unless they read the Vanguard – that the Sodexho workers are not on par with UC employees.

    I was about to re-enroll in the alumni association, but will wait until this issue gets resolved. I hope Larry realizes that it makes us look bad.

  4. Thank you for the update DPD. The Enterprise article was misleading and one would never know – unless they read the Vanguard – that the Sodexho workers are not on par with UC employees.

    I was about to re-enroll in the alumni association, but will wait until this issue gets resolved. I hope Larry realizes that it makes us look bad.

  5. UC Alumni,
    It is your choice to re-enroll in the Alumni associtaion or not. Sodexho employee’s should not be on par with U.C. employees. They have nothing to with State employment.

  6. UC Alumni,
    It is your choice to re-enroll in the Alumni associtaion or not. Sodexho employee’s should not be on par with U.C. employees. They have nothing to with State employment.

  7. UC Alumni,
    It is your choice to re-enroll in the Alumni associtaion or not. Sodexho employee’s should not be on par with U.C. employees. They have nothing to with State employment.

  8. UC Alumni,
    It is your choice to re-enroll in the Alumni associtaion or not. Sodexho employee’s should not be on par with U.C. employees. They have nothing to with State employment.

  9. Vincente said,
    Yes people are rude and stupid here. If you want to experience this first hand deal with some of the sodexho employees on campus. They are not on par with U.C. employee’ and NEVER should be.

  10. Vincente said,
    Yes people are rude and stupid here. If you want to experience this first hand deal with some of the sodexho employees on campus. They are not on par with U.C. employee’ and NEVER should be.

  11. Vincente said,
    Yes people are rude and stupid here. If you want to experience this first hand deal with some of the sodexho employees on campus. They are not on par with U.C. employee’ and NEVER should be.

  12. Vincente said,
    Yes people are rude and stupid here. If you want to experience this first hand deal with some of the sodexho employees on campus. They are not on par with U.C. employee’ and NEVER should be.

  13. I’ve been outspoken, I don’t think I’ve been rude on this blog. If someone shows me otherwise I will apologize for my past rudeness.

    I’ve dealt with many Sodexho workers on campus, I’ve never had a problem and would like a substantiation of how they are inferior to university workers.

  14. I’ve been outspoken, I don’t think I’ve been rude on this blog. If someone shows me otherwise I will apologize for my past rudeness.

    I’ve dealt with many Sodexho workers on campus, I’ve never had a problem and would like a substantiation of how they are inferior to university workers.

  15. I’ve been outspoken, I don’t think I’ve been rude on this blog. If someone shows me otherwise I will apologize for my past rudeness.

    I’ve dealt with many Sodexho workers on campus, I’ve never had a problem and would like a substantiation of how they are inferior to university workers.

  16. I’ve been outspoken, I don’t think I’ve been rude on this blog. If someone shows me otherwise I will apologize for my past rudeness.

    I’ve dealt with many Sodexho workers on campus, I’ve never had a problem and would like a substantiation of how they are inferior to university workers.

  17. Vicente,
    No one said sodexo employees are inferior to U.C. employees. They are just not on par with them. I don’t know if you have been rude or not but, even paranoids have real enemys.

  18. Once again the Vanguard has rightly taken the high ground on matters of workers rights. Thank you! It is important that each of us seriously reflect on the need to place workers rights on (at least) an equal par with those of investors and institutions. Exploitation of labor has become a norm in this society. It is a moral imperative upon each of us to push the pendulum in the opposite direction, insuring that all labor is honored, and that each worker is compensated with a living wage.

  19. Vicente,
    No one said sodexo employees are inferior to U.C. employees. They are just not on par with them. I don’t know if you have been rude or not but, even paranoids have real enemys.

  20. Once again the Vanguard has rightly taken the high ground on matters of workers rights. Thank you! It is important that each of us seriously reflect on the need to place workers rights on (at least) an equal par with those of investors and institutions. Exploitation of labor has become a norm in this society. It is a moral imperative upon each of us to push the pendulum in the opposite direction, insuring that all labor is honored, and that each worker is compensated with a living wage.

  21. Vicente,
    No one said sodexo employees are inferior to U.C. employees. They are just not on par with them. I don’t know if you have been rude or not but, even paranoids have real enemys.

  22. Once again the Vanguard has rightly taken the high ground on matters of workers rights. Thank you! It is important that each of us seriously reflect on the need to place workers rights on (at least) an equal par with those of investors and institutions. Exploitation of labor has become a norm in this society. It is a moral imperative upon each of us to push the pendulum in the opposite direction, insuring that all labor is honored, and that each worker is compensated with a living wage.

  23. Vicente,
    No one said sodexo employees are inferior to U.C. employees. They are just not on par with them. I don’t know if you have been rude or not but, even paranoids have real enemys.

  24. Once again the Vanguard has rightly taken the high ground on matters of workers rights. Thank you! It is important that each of us seriously reflect on the need to place workers rights on (at least) an equal par with those of investors and institutions. Exploitation of labor has become a norm in this society. It is a moral imperative upon each of us to push the pendulum in the opposite direction, insuring that all labor is honored, and that each worker is compensated with a living wage.

  25. anon. 7:05pm –

    in every UC but UCD, the workers who prepare food for university cafeterias on campus are directly hired by the university. only at UCD are they contracted out to sodexho.

    it’s a shell game. UCD pays sodexho, sodexho pays the workers.

    janitors, ground staff, and all manner of clerical workers who do their jobs on campus are considered UC workers. only food service has this subcontracting deal.

    if they’re good enough to cook the meals on campus, they’re good enough to be considered UC employees.

  26. anon. 7:05pm –

    in every UC but UCD, the workers who prepare food for university cafeterias on campus are directly hired by the university. only at UCD are they contracted out to sodexho.

    it’s a shell game. UCD pays sodexho, sodexho pays the workers.

    janitors, ground staff, and all manner of clerical workers who do their jobs on campus are considered UC workers. only food service has this subcontracting deal.

    if they’re good enough to cook the meals on campus, they’re good enough to be considered UC employees.

  27. anon. 7:05pm –

    in every UC but UCD, the workers who prepare food for university cafeterias on campus are directly hired by the university. only at UCD are they contracted out to sodexho.

    it’s a shell game. UCD pays sodexho, sodexho pays the workers.

    janitors, ground staff, and all manner of clerical workers who do their jobs on campus are considered UC workers. only food service has this subcontracting deal.

    if they’re good enough to cook the meals on campus, they’re good enough to be considered UC employees.

  28. anon. 7:05pm –

    in every UC but UCD, the workers who prepare food for university cafeterias on campus are directly hired by the university. only at UCD are they contracted out to sodexho.

    it’s a shell game. UCD pays sodexho, sodexho pays the workers.

    janitors, ground staff, and all manner of clerical workers who do their jobs on campus are considered UC workers. only food service has this subcontracting deal.

    if they’re good enough to cook the meals on campus, they’re good enough to be considered UC employees.

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