We are writing to provide you with information about possible changes in the operations of Tufts Dining Services on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses.
As you may know, Tufts has been in ongoing negotiations with UNITE HERE, Local 26, a union that represents Tufts Dining Services employees on the Medford/Somerville campus and at the SMFA Café as of April 2018. The parties began bargaining in August 2018 and have continued to meet throughout the fall and winter, including an all-day negotiation session yesterday. The University and union have made progress on several draft proposals that deal with a wide range of matters, including trainings, uniforms, safety, job postings, and work assignments. We are hopeful that an equitable agreement will be reached soon. Today, union members are holding a vote to authorize a strike. It is important to note that a vote to authorize a strike does not mean that a strike will necessarily take place. A decision to strike would be made separately by union leadership.
In the event of a strike, Tufts Dining Services has developed a contingency plan to ensure that all students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses have access to food and services. Importantly, we do not expect any changes in the availability of allergen-free and/or gluten-free foods in the event of a strike. Those on the Alternative Meal Program will continue to have access to their meals when requested.
If we learn that a strike is taking place, we will inform all community members as soon as possible and outline any changes in the operations of Dining Services on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses. Full, up-to-date information about the operations of Dining Services will also be available at all times on the Dining Services website.
The University has heard from a number of community members in the past weeks regarding the negotiations with the union, and we want to thank all those who have taken the time to share their concerns and comments with us. We appreciate your engagement on this important issue. We especially want to reiterate our appreciation for our dining employees and all they do in support of our students and the Tufts community. If you have questions or concerns related to the negotiations or the operations of Dining Services, please contact TuftsDining@tufts.edu. You can also find additional information about the University’s ongoing negotiations with the union online.
Anthony P. Monaco, President
Patricia Campbell, Executive Vice President
James M. Glaser, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Jianmin Qu, Dean, School of Engineering