During IU’s two weeks of online classes after spring break, part-time employees in IU Dining will either work on a voluntary basis or be required to work depending on their dining department’s decisions.
IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said each dining department will decide how to schedule shifts during this period. Carney said the situation would be reevaluated as circumstances change.
“Everybody is all hands on deck trying to look at the current situation,” Carney said.
Carney said part-time employees in IU Dining are allotted three unexcused absences per semester. General Manager of Woodland Eatery Adam Tillett said part-time employees' individual situations are taken into consideration when dealing with absences.
Tillett said the department at Woodland Eatery sent part-time employees an email and posted a form for them to sign up to work, but they are under no obligations. He said the part-time employees are not being held to their scheduled hours after spring break.
Carney said the number of dining halls open will depend on how many students stay on campus during the online period. Students aren’t required to register if they’re staying on campus, but they are encouraged to. Many logistics are still under discussion, and IU is pooling resources to compensate for the lack of employees, he said.
The menus and shipments of food may be adjusted due to the amount of students on campus, Tillett said. He said certain restaurants within Woodland Eatery, as well as other dining halls, might be closed.
IU junior Arielle Pare, supervisor of the El Bistro in Read Center, said she has been in contact with other Residential Programs and Services employees in the past few days who are concerned about the amount of sick days part-time employees are allowed. She said the employees who have concerns are focusing on sending emails to the director of RPS and hope to send one to President Michael McRobbie soon to find campuswide solutions.
She said IU can’t expect that the part-time employees, especially student employees, are on their parent’s insurance. Pare said a lot of students in college need their jobs to have the money to pay their bills.
“It’s a burden for us to not come to work and miss out on what would normally be our rent,” Pare said.
Pare said she has seen employees come to work with fevers recently and in the past because they can’t afford to miss out on their pay. She said dining employees coming to work while sick would be a health concern.
The majority of employees, including herself, are planning to come in during the two-week online class period so they can pay their bills, Pare said. She said she expects the dining halls to be slow during the online period.
Carney said there more sick days will not be allotted during the online class period. Employees who come in to work will be paid, and those who don’t will not, he said, but the situation will continue to be evaluated.
Part-time employees are limited to 29 hours per week at IU, Carney said. The Affordable Care Act defines full-time employees as working 30 hours per week, which means IU would have to provide benefits such as health insurance for those workers. Pare said she doesn’t think this is a coincidence.
“We’re the backbone of student living on this campus,” Pare said. “I feel like we’re being taken for granted.”