The saga involving the abuse of workers at the University of Maryland goes on without promise for remedies. Below you will find the latest issues regarding the degradation of workers and the demands made.
The situation is very bad at the ‘university’ and although a ‘committee’ has been convened by the managerial elite much like the Warren Commission or the 911 Commission, it will conceal more than it reveals.
Fortunately, unlike Bradley Manning or the prisoners at Gitmo who have been stripped of their clothing and forced to kneel at the feet of their ‘interrogators’, workers at the university are now organizing. Many workers, however, have been the subject of retaliation due to their courage to come forward but this is to be expected. The authoritarian structure of the college, like the gulags on-shore and off shore, has their protocol and in the case of the University of Maryland it means sweeping worker concerns under the rug. Thus, the committee.
From: Black Faculty and Staff Association of University of Maryland (www.bfsa.umd.edu)
CONTACT: Solomon Comissiong/Kristie Jackson
University of Maryland Employees Come Forward with Allegations of Racial Discrimination, Sexual Abuse and Verbal Degregation
In recent months, University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) facilities employees (custodial staff, housekeepers, groundskeepers, facilities workers, etc.) have likened their work conditions to those of a “plantation” and “Nazi camp.” One UMD employee stated, “I’m surprised someone hasn’t come in with a gun or a grenade — it’s that bad.” This serious situation has gotten worse and dates back to when these statements were made in an anonymous letter sent to UMD upper level administrators in 2010. In recent weeks many Black and Latina housekeepers have come forth with allegations of sexual abuse, racial discrimination, and verbal degradation. Other workers have come forth during three forums hosted by UMD’s Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), with allegations of verbal and physical abuse, retaliation for speaking out, and allegations of racism. (BFSA) have complied a 56 page comprehensive report documenting the entire situation.
BFSA has taken this issue seriously since the beginning. It has made numerous progressive steps toward pressuring the university to remedy a systematic situation where the lowest-paid employees are being mistreated. BFSA is committed to what it would deem a campaign for human rights, dignity, and respect.
BFSA is independent from the University of Maryland, in the sense that it is not a college or department. Part of our mission is to advocate on behalf of our constituents, regardless of their salary level, race, religion, sexual orientation or cultural background. In a time where many of BFSA’s most vulnerable constituents are being disrespected and mistreated; the organization has decided to take an unwavering position on this issue. Some employees have openly stated as though they are being treated like “animals”. BFSA stands on the side of justice and equality.
For this reason, BFSA would like to make public the following demands that we want the University of Maryland to fulfill and honor:
1. Take disciplinary action against all managers, supervisors, and team leaders who retaliate against staff for speaking out and filing grievances. Thus, eliminate the “bully pulpit” mentality.
2. Re-evaluate the criteria managers, supervisors, and/or team leaders use in determining who can attend English as Second Language classes offered by the university.
3. Offer basic computer skills training classes to non-exempt staff.
4. Increase opportunities for internal candidates to be promoted.
5. Revise the current accountability system so as to promote a less hostile working environment (including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, racial discrimination, and verbal degradation).