Custodial Cutbacks Take Effect Today
Weekend Services Curtailed
The University plan to cut back weekend custodial services in the Houses goes into effect today, with superintendents, workers, masters, students and union officials expressing reservations over the measure designed to save the Faculty of Arts and Sciences $160,000.
Under the new plan, which some undergraduates and housemasters contend was enacted without adequate consultation, the University has transferred one custodial employee from each House to the Business School and moved weekend crew chiefs to Monday-to-Friday shifts.
Each House has hired student "porters" to clean for two hours on both Saturday and Sunday, and has received $1500 to cover its office for a total of ten hours on weekends, instead of the present 15-18 hours.
Student members of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) unanimously agreed to "question and protest" the new arrangement this Thursday.
But Vince Marazita '81, who led a petition drive at Eliot House asking that custodian Henry Slonina not be transferred, yesterday said because CHUL will not convene again until November, the issue may die out.
"It seems the administration is trying to skirt the matter by deciding not to hold a CHUL meeting in October," Marazita, whose petition collected about 300 signatures from Eliot House residents, added.
Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, denied this charge yesterday, saying the custodial issue did not come up at the CHUL executive committee meeting where members decided to cancel the October meeting.
Several housemasters said last week they would have to wait for the plan to take effect before commenting on the new arrangement. But William H. Bossert, master of Lowell House, said he would submit a position paper to Joe B. Wyatt, vice president for administration, because he was "quite heated" about the decision.
Kenneth R. Andrews, master of Leverett House and head of the masters' executive committee, acknowledged yesterday that the decision "was not one in which the masters took part," but added that they "will try to make it work."
"We can't condemn the plan because we disliked the decision-making process," Andrews said, adding that although "the plan was pushed through in haste, it would be somewhat uncivilized not to go along."
Francis Lawton, assistant dean for facilities, is on vacation and could not be reached for comment, but Thomas A. Dingman '67, assistant dean of the College, agreed yesterday that "the masters did not participate enough in the process."
Darleen Bonislawski, a ranking official in the Harvard University Employees Representative Association, the union representing the custodial workers, said she was grateful no workers were laid off in the shift, but added that if workers did not like their new situation, they would file labor grievances against Harvard.