GAMBIER — More than a year ago custodians, maintenance workers, groundskeepers and tradesmen at Kenyon College were shocked to learn the college was considering a plan to outsource the management of the maintenance department as a cost-saving measure. They banded together with each other, managers and supervisors to form the Middle Path Partnership, and formed a plan which will save money, improve operational efficiency and keep the departments in house. On Wednesday, that plan was celebrated in a ceremonial signing held in Peirce Hall.
Initial signatories included Kenyon College president Sean Decatur; Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union which represents Kenyon’s custodians and groundskeepers; and Bruce Klipple, president of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, which represents the trades workers. Each lauded the efforts which made the agreement possible.
“When your world was threatened and uncertainty was rising,” Buffenbarger told the assembled workers, “you took it on yourselves and made the kinds of relationships with one another to stand against change that was perceived to be not good. You engaged a greater community for your support. ... People banded together, used their voices, used their feet, used their minds and affected change [for the good].
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