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Changes to housekeeper schedules, locations following re-bidding will not be implemented

Charles Gooch, former president of Local 77, holds a copy of the collective bargaining agreement.
Charles Gooch, former president of Local 77, holds a copy of the collective bargaining agreement.

The proposed changes to housekeeping shift schedules—resulting from housekeepers having to rebid for hours and locations—have been scrapped.

The changes were set to go into effect in January. In a letter to employees in the environmental services department that was sent Friday, John Noonan, vice president for facilities, wrote that the changes, would not occur.

"I am writing to let you know that we will not be implementing the proposed January shift schedule changes," Noonan wrote.

The Chronicle first reported in September that housekeepers were informed they would have to re-bid for their positions. 

“These changes are made after careful consideration for how to best meet the operational needs of the university while balancing our staffing and housekeeping resources," Leslye Kornegay, director of university environmental services, wrote in an email to The Chronicle in September.

The re-bidding was set to occur Oct. 1 to 5 and would be based completely on seniority. All four of the housekeepers The Chronicle spoke with about the re-bidding wanted to keep their current shifts and locations.

"As we watched the bid results come in over the past week, we became concerned that too many could be left without an appropriate opportunity," Noonan wrote in the email to staff. "We will explore other, less disruptive options to align assignments to the operational needs of the University."

Noonan's Friday letter, which The Chronicle was provided a copy of, only discussed the re-bidding changes and did not address that some housekeepers are now working on the weekends—a shift that sparked a student-led petition.

Charles Gooch, who was president of Local 77—the union that represents approximately 500 housekeepers and Marketplace staff—resigned in September to protest to the re-bidding.

"We heard you, and we value your service to Duke," Noonan wrote to employees.

Shagun Vashisth contributed to this report.