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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Custodians picket against extension of new third shift hours

Custodians Picket: Tom Dodson, member of Labor 171 and custodian for UW-Madison participated in the picketing Tuesday afternoon on University Ave.

Custodians picket against extension of new third shift hours

UW-Madison custodians stood in the rain Tuesday to picket against a change in their third shift work schedule, implemented in August. 

 

Members of Local 171, a union representing blue collar employees, said they were against the new one-hour difference in the third shift. 

 

According to Randy Brink, president of Local 171, the third shift custodians have worked from 5 p.m. to 1: 30 a.m. for over 30 years. He said the change in hours - from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. - causes problems for workers who wake up early to drive their children to school. 

 

When we were informed of this change we had a series of meetings and found [a mostly] unanimous dislike of this change,"" Brink said. ""[University officials] haven't really negotiated with us '¦ we had no other choice then to take it to the streets.""  

 

""We will eventually have to start picketing chancellor events,"" Schueller said. ""[Chancellor Biddy Martin] is aware of this and we want to make her aware even further that we have a great concern for this problem."" 

 

Alan Fish, associate vice chancellor of facility planning and management, said the university is aware of the custodians' concerns and have met with some members of the union to discuss the situation. He said some custodians also picketed a recognition party for facility staff that the chancellor attended in August. 

 

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An onlooker and supporter of Tuesday's picket, who asked to remain anonymous, said she works as a program assistant at UW-Madison and the extension of the third shift ending time is arbitrary and disrespectful.  

 

""I work and see custodians everyday who are mistreated. The change in time just adds to the problem,"" she said.  

Fish emphasized university support for custodians. 

 

""They are valued members of our staff and important to campus so we will figure out an accommodation that will suit both entities,"" he said. 

 

According to Schueller, the custodians planned on working Tuesdays' third shift as normal. 

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