University custodians keep students, faculty safe amid furlough attempts

As a recent article in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP) student newspaper The Penn points out, custodians and janitors are just as essential as all the other front-line workers who are getting us through this pandemic.

This is especially true at Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities like IUP and Edinboro, where AFSCME Council 13 is fighting attempts to furlough the entire custodial staffs and outsource their jobs.

As the article, which was written by an IUP student, points out, “without the help of custodians, a lot of businesses would be shut down and workers would be out of a job. Especially here on IUP’s campus, custodians are needed to keep everybody safe.”

Despite that, PASSHE is attempting to put 103 essential employees (64 at IUP, 39 at Edinboro) out of work while putting the health and safety of their campuses in question. This makes no sense and is the last thing we need during ongoing health and economic crises.

UPDATE: AFSCME Council 13 was able to save these custodial jobs, but many remain at risk at other PASSHE campuses due to the system’s integration plan. Learn more here.

Council 13 thanks these custodial employees, and all front-line workers, for everything they do to keep us safe and healthy, and we will continue to fight for them.

You can urge the PASSHE Board of Governors to stop these furlough and outsourcing attempts at:

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Dixon University Center
2986 North Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-1201

The telephone number for the Board office is (717) 720-4010.