7-27-16 Westfield State Dining Services Email Update

To: Campus Community
From: Vice President for Administration and Finance Stephen Taksar and Westfield State Dining Services Director Andrew Mankus

The feedback from the campus community has been positive following last week’s email update. We hope our weekly emails continue to provide current, accurate information on the progress of Westfield State Dining Services leading up to the late August launch. The campus community is reminded that the best source of information on Westfield State Dining Services can be found at http://www.westfield.ma.edu/dining and individual questions can be submitted online there.

We are happy to report on some further progress on the dining service. Updates include:

·    As a state institution, all union representation is coordinated and managed by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.  With union representation for staff already established on campus through AFSCME and APA, the state determined that positions in the new dining program would fall under those two existing unions.  AFSCME also agreed that the university would use some titles that were only available to UMass in the past, which allows the Dining Commons to be appropriately staffed to provide the high quality of food and service of this dining model. The campus is working hard to ensure positions are properly classified, posted, and filled according to our standard recruitment and hiring practices.

·     Negotiations with AFSCME Local 1067/Council 93, regarding Westfield State Dining Services, took place last week. The university is pleased to announce that all employees hired into classified Dining Services benefitted positions will be represented by AFSCME. Several full-time, benefitted positions are already posted online. These positions include:

Administrative Assistant I Office Manager
Administrative Assistant I Catering Coordinator
Assistant Food Services Manager
Cook III and Cook II
Dining Hall Supervisor

Visit http://www.westfield.ma.edu/dining and click on “Employment” in the main menu bar to learn more about these positions.

·     Of the 59 staff currently employed by Westfield State Dining Services, 47 are former Sodexo employees.

·     UMass Dining staff has been instrumental with their onsite support during the start-up of the new program. As Westfield State Dining Services hiring ramps up, UMass Dining staff will be transitioning out of operations.

·     Interviews for previously posted APA positions are also ongoing. An Executive Chef will be selected soon and there will be an announcement when that selection is made.

·     Interviews for part-time, academic year retail dining positions have also begun and staff for those locations will begin training the week of August 1.

·     Faculty and staff are encouraged to test out the new menu options. New offerings include made-to-order stir-fry; bread, cookies, brownies and cakes made from scratch; and sushi (currently only offered at dinner).

·     A job fair will take place in the second week of August. The specific date, time, and location will be announced in next week’s email update. More information on additional part-time and full-time positions to become available in September will be provided at that time.  All interested individuals are welcome to attend. Former Sodexo employees, who indicated they were not available to work in the summer, but are available in the fall, are encouraged to attend.

We appreciate the patience of the campus as we work through the transition issues leading up to the late August launch.


Stephen Taksar
Vice President for Administration and Finance

Andrew Mankus
Westfield State Dining Services Director