Housekeeping, Grounds Cleaning: Where Things Stand
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As previously reported, AUC has contracted with two reputable Egyptian companies to provide housekeeping and grounds cleaning services, which will allow for more efficient use of resources and high-quality service. Recognizing the impact on workers whose contracts are expiring soon, AUC offered generous transition assistance, far in excess of legal requirements. In addition, dependents of the contract employees departing in good standing who are currently enrolled in AUC’s academic programs or have received acceptance letters will continue their educational programs. AUC has also made special arrangements for certain cases of extreme medical need.
Nearly half accepted the transition support, and the incoming companies have agreed to interview any who may wish for positions either at AUC or other locations. Other workers have definitively rejected the offer for cash payments and assistance with re-employment with the private companies.
The University has been communicating continuously with the affected workers through meetings with the heads of the two workers’ syndicates (AUC’s Public Syndicate and AUC’s Independent Syndicate) through messages, emails and direct supervisory contact.
On July 25, representatives from the national Labor Office and the Ministry of Manpower met jointly with AUC’s management representatives and with representatives from AUC’s two workers’ syndicates. In the meeting, AUC again explained the reasons for its resort to outside providers of housekeeping and grounds cleaning services upon the lapse of current contracts and again explained the extraordinary benefits offered to the workers.
Later the same day, the administration once again urged all affected workers to register their acceptance or rejection of AUC’s conditional offer of transition benefits before the close of the business day. The message, in Arabic, added that AUC would put those workers who failed to accept the offer on paid administrative leave for an indefinite period.
Ninety-six workers accepted the offer before the deadline. AUC will disburse the exceptional bonus to them on or before the expiration of their contracts and has communicated to the two new companies the names of those employees in good standing who wish consideration for re-employment by those companies.
Late the same night, the administration notified all housekeeping and grounds cleaning employees that they are on paid administrative leave from July 26 until further notice. The Office of Human Resources is processing all employees’ transitions in accordance with their choices and is reaching out to all affected individuals to confirm arrangement details for their transition.
In addition, upon the request of several workers to HR, the administration agreed to extend the deadline. Affected workers still have a chance to accept the offer by 3 pm today, July 26.
At that time, AUC will report to the local authorities the names of those employees who continue unlawfully to remain on campus while on mandatory administrative leave.
During the coming few days, there will be a skeleton cleaning crew from the two companies available on campus to conduct basic cleaning. Any urgent cleaning requests or concerns should be directed to the Associate Vice President for Campus Services Noel Knille at firstname.lastname@example.org. “We ask the AUC community to bear with us during this time,” said Knille. “We appreciate your support and understanding.”