The help and the elite

Via here, this is … um, interesting:

The University has ended a controversial policy that barred uniformed service staff access to the Administration Building elevators from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. President Robert Zimmer sent an e-mail to Facilities Service staff explicitly rebuking the policy yesterday, four months after a University locksmith filed a formal grievance against the University.

“In the event maintenance or repair work is required during high-use periods, the University expects that it be performed in such a way as to minimize the disruptive impact on the operations of the University. To this end, the University has requested that maintenance and repair workers should normally use the public stairway in the Administration Building rather than the two public elevators,” Saxton wrote.

The issue came to a head when two locksmiths with medical conditions were told to repair locks on the fourth floor of the Administration Building during the day. Stephen Clarke, the locksmith who originally responded to the emergency repair, has had two hip replacement surgeries during his 23 years as an employee of the University. According to Clarke, when he asked Kevin Ahn, his immediate supervisor, if he could use the elevator due to his medical condition, Ahn said no. Clarke was unable to perform the work, and Elliot Lounsbury, a second locksmith who has asthma, was called to perform the repairs.

Lounsbury also asked Ahn if he could use the elevator to access the fourth floor, was denied, and ended up climbing the stairs to the fourth floor.

Prior to the reversal of the policy, SEIU Local 73 had planned to host a rally Wednesday demanding that the University reverse the policy. Fliers had been posted since late September. Since Zimmer’s decision, Hobbs said the rally has been cancelled.

A few things to think about:

  • This was an administration building, I’m hoping that the faculty wouldn’t allow this. I might be too optimistic.
  • It took 5 months and the threat of a student protest to get this obviously stupid and perhaps illegal rule changed. Obviously unions have too much power.
  • The higher administration at universities are starting to get paid more In line with the top levels of other companies. Perhaps this type of behavior goes with it?

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