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Mrs. Bunting issued a statement yesterday in response to SDS demands for improved working conditions and an end to the wage differential among workers in Radcliffe kitchens.
She had promised to reply to the SDS demands during a confrontation in her office on November 7.
The following is Mrs. Bunting's statement:
Before reporting my findings on the five charges brought by the Radcliffe subcommittee of the Harvard-Radcliffe SDS Campus-Worker-Student Alliance Committee with respect to conditions in the Radcliffe kitchens, I should like to make two comments. First, the College will, of course, carry on all wage and other negotiations through the Building Services Employees International Union, AFLCIO Local 254, as requested by the kitchen workers. It would be illegal as well as undesirable to negotiate with any othergroup. Second, we welcome reports of apparent inequities and suggestions as to possible improvements in working conditions from any concerned individuals and groups, including SDS.
During the last week I have visited the kitchens, observed operations and talked with cooks and dish washers as well as with the College Dietitian. My findings are as follows:
A wage differential between "chefs" and "first cooks" is justified. The chefs, who have had professional training, are responsible for feeding considerably larger numbers of students than are the first cooks. In North House, which uses chefs, teams of four feed approximately 450 students or 112 per cook. In East and South Houses, with first cooks, teams of four feed approximately 250 students or 62 per cook.
Extra cooks are ordinarily used for special dinners when two meals must be prepared. I found no evidence that the cooks were disturbed about this situation,
The dish washers in East House agreed with the Dietitian that there is no need for a second dish- washing machine in East House.
I found no evidence that the dish- washing machines were unsanitary or inefficient.
Most, but not all, of the dish washers do prefer plastic trays to metal ones. Plastic trays have been purchased for the South House kitchen where they were lacking. Additional plastic trays can and will be procured for other kitchens if they are needed.
Finally, I believe that morale among the workers in Radcliffe kitchens is high, that individuals feel free to bring problems to the kitchen administration, and that, although they enjoy knowing students and respect the job students do in the kitchens, the regular staff resents having students act as their self- appointed representatives.
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