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COMMUNITY NEWS: SOUTH

USC : University, Union Continue Talks

April 25, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

Discussions are continuing between USC and a union representing 350 university housing and dining service employees after a union rally earlier this month protesting a delay in signing a new contract.

Douglas Pendleton, director of dining services and USC's chief negotiator, said the union refused at the last minute to sign an agreed-upon contract after discovering a mistake in the union's calculation of payments to the health insurance fund.

The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11 said the university is balking over payment of an extra 5 cents an hour per employee into the medical fund. The university had been making the payment by shifting money from the legal fund to the medical fund, but it had been doing so as the result of a verbal agreement and is reconsidering because the arrangement was not an explicit part of the previous contract, said Jennifer Skurnik, a union organizer.

The union also claims that work schedules prepared by university managers are creating hardship for employees. Pendleton said that steady, full-time hours can be guaranteed for some workers, but the university must adjust its work force when classes are not in session.

But the union says work hours for dining services workers are often cut back during the school year without regard to seniority, resulting in across-the-board reductions in pay.

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