WKU Set to Outsource About 200 Workers to Private Company
As many as 200 Western Kentucky University employees will soon pay at least five times for health benefits.
Members of the building services, grounds, landscaping and recycling departments are being outsourced August 1 to Sodexo Management Services.
Those making minimum pay will get a dollar-an-hour raise, while a smaller group making more than that will get an hourly boost of between 54 and 95 cents.
WKU Human Resources director Tony Glisson said the move is in response to a $6 million budget cut from the state announced earlier this year.
“When that type of reduction occurs, the university has to look deep and wide for opportunities to reduce costs, become more efficient, to look for creative arrangements, new partnerships that may not have been in place previously,” he said.
Several employees who declined to speak on the record have told WKU Public Radio that as many as 60 people have either taken early retirement or quit rather than take the Sodexo deal.
Glisson said while no employee lost a job over the switch, dozens have either retired or quit because of an anticipated jump in the cost of health benefits.
Glisson expects the outsourcing to save the school as much as $3.6 million dollars over the next five years.