Top Ten Story 2012: Texas A&M Outsourcing

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Concerns and questions swirled at Texas A&M this year as the university outsourced custodial, dining, maintenance, and landscaping services to save money.

News 3 has a review of Texas A&M outsourcing; one of our top ten stories of the year.

"You cannot give us any, any guarantees, can you? " said a Texas A&M Employee.

"How can you sleep at night pursuing this measure?" asked another.

Frustrations, fears, and questions were on the minds of some 6,000 Texas A&M employees as their jobs in custodial, dining, maintenance and landscaping services were outsourced from the university to Compass Group USA.

"We are here today to start doing what we said we were going to do," said Compass Group Executive Vice President Kurt Kimball.

At a meeting in June Kimball talked about the five year deal that included a four percent raise for employees, and matching benefits and time-off.

But he added changes could happen.

"The initial guarantee is two years for the employees," he said.

That means on year three positions could be transferred or eliminated.

"The difference is where the paychecks come from," said Chancellor John Sharp, of the Texas A&M University System.

"You're owed a lot of thanks, gratitude for your devotion, dedication to our students, our faculty and staff," said Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University President.

Alma Villarreal, a Texas A&M employee was put at ease by some of the answers.

"The reassurance coming from the Chancellor that everybody was gonna be taken care of that was good. Like I said the morale has been so low and there has been so many things out there that the reaction wasn't there because they're still a little bit apprehensive," she said.

In August the deal was finalized as these employees said goodbye to one boss and hello to a new one.

The outsourcing arrangement is expected to save Texas A&M as much as $260 million over the next ten years.

Compass Group was already providing services for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.