Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp says there are no plans of any employees being laid off, but hundreds of employees are still skeptical about their future job stability.
Last week, the news broke that 850 jobs at A&M could be out sourced to a private company. Employees affected work in the facilities department which includes food services, landscaping, custodial services and maintenance.
The chancellor wants to emphasize that no decision has been made to lay off anyone.
What the university is doing is issuing request for proposals (RFPs) for companies to bid on contracts.
Sharp says by doing this they are trying to make the services better and cheaper.
"We are the most important people to serve A&M. Do the Board Of Regents or the Chancellors have any idea the scope of the work that the people in this room do?" said a Texas A&M employee at an emergency meeting Friday morning at Rudder Auditorium.
Sharp says food services was losing $1 million a year.
You can spend $1 million to get an expert to come in and tell you what you need to do, or you could get that free by issuing an RFP and having the experts in the private sector come in and tell you whether they can beat the deal that you have,” said Sharp.
If you look around the A&M system in Corpus Christi and Kingsville, Sharp says facility services are already privatized.
"Everybody still has their same job, same benefits and the whole bit, and they double, tripled the amount of money they were making in food services because they started serving stuff people ate. That they wanted. It just increased the demand. That's what has happened in virtually all of these instances,” said Sharp.
"It's hard that all of a sudden you might not have a job; somebody else is going to take your job from outside,” said Alma Villarreal, a facility services employee.
Sharp said if a private company came in, they would probably hire the current employees.
”Why would they go through the expense of going to Dallas to bring employees that don't know squat about Texas A&M. They are going to use the employees over here. The RFP clearly says you will be judged by that as one of those factors that we want our existing employees used.”
The university says they will continue to send out requests to get bids on services.
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