November 17, 2021

Dear Staff and Faculty,

Some of you may have learned from CPR minutes or from the minutes of the Committee of Six that we have placed a priority this year on converting a significant number of casual positions to regular benefited positions. The unusually large endowment gains of this past year make it possible for us to make these changes, which represent one of several priorities that I announced in meetings earlier this semester.    

Over the years, as the College has added dining and catering programs while keeping the number of permanent benefited staff stable, casual positions were created in order to increase grab and go options, expand catering, lengthen hours of operation, etc. It has been clear for some time that these expanded programs are needed for the long haul. It is past time to convert as many positions as possible.

We will now increase the number of benefited staff. Starting next week, casual staff who are working longer hours—generally in excess of 24 hours per week—will be offered benefited positions. Of the 26 newly created benefited positions, most will be full-time positions, but there may be some part-time ones, as well. The newly created positions will receive an increase in pay commensurate with the College's current internal pay structures, as well as the full range of benefits.

Casual staff who are serving in these high hour-per-week roles will have the option of accepting the benefited position, and we expect that most will. However, some may wish to retain a more flexible relationship with the College; we will respect that choice, of course, and allow them to remain in casual roles. Of the 26 newly created benefited positions, 19 will be offered to current casual employees. The other seven are currently vacant and we will recruit benefited staff to fill them. We hope to have this casual conversion initiative completed by the end of the calendar year.

There will continue to be casual roles for employees where the work requires a small number of hours or is available for a short and finite period of time or occurs only occasionally, e.g., catering events waitstaff. We will also continue to employ local high school students and community partners in similar casual roles. However, going forward, our strategy will be to use benefited staff for the core, day-in-day-out functions of Dining.  

I appreciate the advocacy of the Employee Council for these changes. I also deeply appreciate the extraordinary work that has been done over time by all our casual employees in Dining Services—and by all of our Dining Services staff. We hope many current employees will take advantage of the new benefited positions.