ULL-Sodexo workers win longevity pay for the first time - August 16, 2017

Good labor relations matter when union members meet with management to negotiate a new agreement. Members of AFSCME Local 1187 work for Sodexo at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL  Lafayette). Recently, they sat down with the company to negotiate a new four-year agreement. Both sides had their priorities, and when negotiations were completed, the new agreement addressed wage suppression and the retention of newer employees, which was a concern both of the company and of union members. Additionally, the company agreed to maintain the current $10,000 life insurance policy for employees.

Elaine Godfrey has worked for multiple contractors at UL Lafayette for nearly 41 years. She has been with the most recent contractor, Sodexo, for 15 years, as a food service worker for students, the football teams and sports leagues. She feels her job is important "because we don't just give food to the students, we're also their second family away from home." She says:

The new wage schedule means a lot to me. As a senior worker, I will receive longevity pay for the first time. That means I'll get a 6% increase each year for the next four years. I am a widow, and my daughter and two grandchildren live with me. This raise means I have a chance of making it.

Coming together as a union with AFSCME has allowed my coworkers and me to make improvements that we could never have done alone. Eighty-five percent of my coworkers are union members. Our company respects us an understands the contribution we make as workers to the University."

Beginning September 2017, all Sodexo workers at UL Lafayette will get a 2% raise each year, with additional increases based on the new longevity pay language. Over the four-year length of the agreement, this means that workers with 6 years of serve or less will receive a 16% increase; those with ten years of service, a 20% increase, and those with 15 or more years of service, a 24% increase.