Tufts Students on Hunger Strike Meet with Administrators

A group of Tufts University students will enter the fourth full day of a hunger strike Thursday, as they continue talks with administrators over proposed cuts to the school’s custodial workers.

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The administration will meet with students at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, according to members of the Tufts Labor Coalition. The two sides met on the Medford campus for about an hour Wednesday.

Five members of a student-led protest group have refused to eat since Sunday in response to the planned elimination of about 35 janitorial positions by the end of May.

Tufts spokeswoman Kim Thurler said school officials met with students from the coalition Wednesday to discuss the restructuring of custodial services at Tufts.

In a statement, Thurler said that after a review of the janitors’ collective bargaining agreement, DTZ, Tufts’ custodial contractor, determined that layoffs would affect only 20 janitors, “significantly fewer” than the original proposal.

But members of the Tufts Labor Coalition said the consequences would be the same — the loss of jobs and an increased workload for the remaining staff.

Source: Boston Globe

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