In response to “Hopkins Dining union hosts forum to discuss negotiations with the University” published November 15, 2022:
As a leader in food service operations for over 25 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been all over the country working in universities, convention centers, hospitals, restaurants and even at a couple of Olympics. Last September, I came to Hopkins tasked with leading the transition of bringing our Homewood and Peabody dining operations in-house, and I can honestly say that it’s some of the most meaningful work that I’ve ever done.
Hopkins chose to bring our long-time contract dining workers in as Hopkins employees in order to invest in our greatest asset — our people. Bringing our Homewood dining operation in-house allows us to train and invest in our employees and to provide them with more opportunities to flourish in the Hopkins environment. It’s important to create pathways for advancement. As an example, I have the goal to one day develop one of our employees into an executive chef.
Another way we are investing in our valuable dining workers is providing them with significant pay increases and full access to the University’s robust benefits, including tuition support for employees and their dependents, home-buying assistance and generous childcare, parental leave, vacation and retirement benefits.
As part of our HopkinsLocal economic inclusion goals, Hopkins Dining will also be supporting Baltimore’s local economy more than ever before by bringing in local minority-and women-owned food vendors to open up shop at select locations on campus. Even as we work to expand these opportunities for our HopkinsLocal partners, we have guaranteed that all 175 food service positions, represented by UNITE HERE Local 7, will not be displaced by contractors.
Hopkins has a long history of positive and productive relationships with union representatives on campus and has bargained in good faith with UNITE HERE Local 7, the union representing the dining hall workers, since December 2021. It is my deepest hope that we will be able to come to agreement on a first contract in the coming days and weeks so our new employees can take advantage of the wage increases, expanded benefits and job security that this deal offers before the holidays.
Assistant Vice Provost Hopkins Dining