NASHVILLE – TSEA applauds the decision by the University of Tennessee’s four campuses to opt out of the facilities management contract with Jones Lang Lasalle.
According to statements recently released by each of the four campuses within the University of Tennessee system, each college plans to announce Friday, Nov. 3, at the UT Board of Trustees meeting their decision to opt out of the facilities management outsourcing plan proposed by Jones Lang Lasalle.
“This is great news for the state employees who work in the UT system, especially as we begin the holiday season,” TSEA Executive Director Randy Stamps said. “This entire outsourcing process has caused a great deal of anxiety for higher education state employees who have faced the possibility of changing employers, changing insurance plans, losing benefits, potential job relocations, and an unknown future once the dust settles. The cost savings just aren’t significant enough to justify the associated risks. We applaud the many campus staff who invested countless hours of work studying and evaluating the outsourcing plan.”
TSEA during the 2017 legislative session introduced legislation, HB944/SB1047 sponsored by Rep. Tilman Goins and Sen. Janice Bowling, to bring oversight, legislative involvement, and transparency to the way Tennessee contracts for goods and services. While the bill did not pass in 2017, the legislature deemed the bill to have merit and sent it to summer study for further discussion.
After two summer study hearings on the bill, Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Briggs in his closing comments said, “We really would like the state to prove when we go to outsource something that it’s not a job that could be done by state employees.” Chairman Briggs continued, “if all of those things are equal, we’re going to give the benefit of the doubt to the people that work for us already.”
TSEA will continue to work with members of the legislature to get this vital piece of legislation passed in 2018.
Founded in 1974, TSEA represents the rights and interests of all state and Higher Education employees in Tennessee and has a rich history of improving the lives of its state employee members. For more information, visit TSEA’s website at www.tseaonline.org.