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Outsourcing hurts campus, community

Glenn Khalar

I am the custodian in the Jim Dan Hill Library; I am also a veteran.

We have a program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for veterans to help them find new jobs and retrain them. As a veteran myself hired on this campus partially because I am a veteran, I am saddened to think that now we may be outsourced instead of looking out for our interest as we claim to do on this campus. I am not the only veteran on this campus that would be affected by outsourcing. This is a great concern of mine, as well as other concerns.

I was raised here, brought up a family here, lived in the county my whole life and in this community. I was taught common sense, caring, looking out for others, being honest and teamwork. Now I come to the UWS campus to find out that people of authority can stretch the truth. There is no real teamwork here, and I see a lot of greed from people that have plenty to give. I don’t see community support, looking out for the student’s best interest or the university’s interest.

These are a few reasons why jobs should not be outsourced.

I have been on this campus now for 16 years. I’ve put out three fires. I stopped a bike theft from happening with the help of campus safety. I’ve found numerous floods on my watch. I’ve found broken windows and doors. I know when the air handlers are not working in the building. I know when something is out of the ordinary that needs attention from facilities management. Not to speak of the numerous students that I’ve personally shoveled out when they were stuck in parking lots and even on the road as I was leaving for home. I’ve found numerous lost and found items that are sometimes very valuable and have turned these items in, always. These are some of the things you will lose if I am outsourced.

Just this year, I got a new, used car. During the last snowstorm, coming to work to shovel and clear snow for the campus, I damaged the front end of my car which still is not fixed because I can’t afford to fix it. I have stayed in town so I am here to shovel and clear snow for the campus. Again, these are the things you will not receive from outsourced people.

I’ve taken pride in my job and my work. I show kindness from my heart to those I work with and to students and their parents. I’ve even showed a professor how to load a stapler. Surprising that I make $12 an hour and others make so much more money.

We as custodians and grounds employees are team players. We’ve gotten together to set up numerous functions for the campus and public. I’ve come in numerous times on my day off to clean up vomit, human waste and chewing tobacco, not to mention thousands of cigarette butts and other trash outside the buildings. The big set-up functions may not be done. I, as well as other custodians, always help staff, students and administration or management when they need help on a day-to-day basis. Whether it is opening a door, helping carry items in or out of buildings, we do anything asked of us.

I was taught that hard work would get you somewhere in life, when in reality, it has proven to get me taken advantage of on job duties and now to tell me that all of my hard work doesn’t mean anything here.

This is going to hurt the community something severe, hurt the campus and affect all students coming to this campus in the future. If you are really concerned about your campus, your students and your community, then you would not even be thinking of outsourcing us. Considering there are not a lot of decent jobs in this area, you are now asking 28 employees to go even further backward financially, in life and maybe even losing their homes. If others on this campus were more caring and giving to the employees that needed it, it would make the campus community a much better place for all our students for this Superior.

I am not trying to offend anyone. If this hurts in any way, shape or form, then the truth hurts. I want to see the campus thrive with more students and put us on the map as a caring campus for not only the student and family members but for the employees and the community as well. Please don’t outsource jobs. Pay us a fair salary to live on, raise our families and keep our homes. As we all love this little town we call Superior.

We are the eyes and ears of the campus. You’ll never get better security and job performance on day-to-day operations, public functions and knowledge of the job as you will from the custodians and grounds on this campus if we are outsourced. We do take pride in the campus and our building, and look out for everyone — staff, students and the community. We’ve all been given special training with our jobs and you’d be losing these things as well.

As an ex-military man, don’t throw all the people overboard to make this ship float.

Glenn Khalar works at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and lives in Solon Springs.