Transition to Westfield State Dining Services Begins

7-19-16 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

As of July 1, we began the exciting transition to Westfield State Dining Services. Two weeks into the process, transition is underway and we have soft-launched our new self-operated food service program in select dining venues on campus. We’ve also begun to build our new team and implement the operating principles and quality measures leading up to the official launch of Westfield Dining Services in late August.

Recently, there has been some misinformation shared on personnel issues related to this transition and a firm sense of what to expect has been lacking. We apologize for any ambiguity and we hope a revised communication plan will provide the latest, accurate information in a timely manner to provide the campus community with clearer expectations and a channel to have its questions answered by those who are most knowledgeable to provide the answer.

The best source of information on Westfield State Dining Services can be found at http://www.westfield.ma.edu/dining. There, you’ll find announcements similar to this email update, FAQs, an online form to submit questions and links to Westfield State Dining Services job postings. The campus community can expect at least weekly email updates leading up to the launch.

In the next two weeks, newly hired Westfield State Dining Services Director Andrew Mankus will be leading the effort to post and fill current and immediate job openings. Andrew’s extensive experience and background will be a significant advantage as the university begins the first in a three-phased hiring process. As the initial staffing and transition plan is underway, it is important to note that food service staff were employed by Sodexo prior to July 1, 2016. Current Westfield State Dining Services staff are Westfield State University employees.

The initial staffing and the phases to follow will include a significant portion of staff who will receive full-time compensation and benefits, including union membership. The full dining services staff will be comprised of these full-time positions, part-time positions and student worker positions.

Today, a team from Westfield State Dining Services is working with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to negotiate the details of the full-time, benefitted positions. Those negotiations will be the last critical step before posting and moving forward with the bulk of full-time and other positions that are part of Westfield State Dining Services’ initial staffing phase.

Although the former employees of Sodexo were not employees of the Westfield State, we appreciate their dedication and commitment to serving our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. As a result of a June 14 job fair and other outreach, more than 40 former Sodexo employees who were available to work in the summer months have been hired by Westfield State Dining Services on a contract basis. We hope those staff members and other former Sodexo employees consider applying for positions throughout the three-phase hiring process.

For those former Sodexo employees who were not available to work over the summer months, but are available in the fall, a job fair will be held in early August for more information on additional positions to become available in September. As “honorary” members of the Westfield State community, former Sodexo employees are encouraged to take advantage of the job search, interviewing and resume/cover letter writing resources available through Westfield State’s Career Center by calling (413) 572-5206 or visiting http://www.westfield.ma.edu/academics/career-center.

We appreciate the patience of the full campus as we work to make the important enhancements necessary to prepare for Westfield State Dining Services’ launch at the end of August.