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Outsourcing decision made, employees’ jobs safe, says Sharp

Bids awarded Compass USA

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

Texas A&M University will outsource dining, custodial, landscape and building maintenance services to Compass Group USA, as announced by Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp at a press conference Thursday morning.

This move will produce $260 million in revenue and savings over the next 10 years. All revenue and savings will be distributed back to Texas A&M University, Sharp said.

“What we’re talking about here is … hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used to attract the top faculty, the top researchers from across the country,” Sharp said.

Compass Group will also pay Texas A&M $45 million when the contract is signed to invest in facilities upgrades and upgrades to dining services. The contract will be drafted and signed in the next 30 to 45 days, Sharp said.

“This will give us resources we desperately need to be able to address what we’re about: Teaching, research and service,” said University President R. Bowen Loftin.

Loftin said it was made clear early in the discussion process that the treatment of staff at Texas A&M was a critical factor for the decision. Kurt Kimball, executive vice-president for Compass Group USA, continued to share the same concerns.

“Our message to the employees is: We are here to protect you,” Kimball said. “Your jobs are protected, everyone is hired, their benefits are intact and we become partners.”

Each current employee for dining and facilities services will be offered employment with Compass Group, Sharp said. Employees will receive a benefits package consistent with the state-funded benefits package they receive now.

Due to a discrepancy in regard to health insurance, each employee will receive a four percent pay increase immediately following being hired by Compass Group, Sharp said.

Kimball said employees will retain the same wages, benefits, time off, level of seniority, job description and take-home pay. He said the only thing that will be changed is the logo on the paycheck.

Compass Group USA is a North Carolina-based company that specializes in foodservice management and support services. Compass group has served many clients throughout the country such as IBM and Microsoft, as well as catered for sporting events such as the U.S. Open and the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games.

“We’re very proud of what we do,” Kimball said. “But we’re most proud to put our stake in the ground at Texas A&M.”

Kimball said other specifics will be decided at integration meetings in the coming months.

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