Miami University changes dining services; departing management group announces layoffs

Workers will be able to stay on as employees if they choose, school says

OXFORD — A federal jobs alert has been posted by Chartwells Higher Education at Miami University stating its food and dining services contract with the public college will end May 31 and it will discontinue services there at that time.

“We expect it to be a permanent layoff. Bumping rights do not apply,” the notice states. “There are 155 associates that are being impacted by this closure. All employees are encouraged to apply for alternative positions within the Company.”

The WARN act notice — also known as the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification — revealed there will be 96 cashiers and food service workers impacted, along with 37 cooks and a number of other types of positions, including a director of operations, HR generalist and more.

On March 29, Miami University issued a news release saying it has partnered with Aramark to “innovate campus dining.” The release also says anyone working there now will be able to continue as a Miami University employee without wage or benefit change.

The other option is the workers may transfer to Aramark.

Jessica Rivinius, spokeswoman for Miami, said “Chartwells was only responsible for the venues in the Armstrong Student Center.”

“This was a temporary contract that Miami entered into last September in response to difficulties the university was having in hiring sufficient staff to continue to self-operate all of Miami’s dining venues and convenience stores. That temporary contract expires May 31,” said Rivinius.

“Students will also be able to take advantage of Aramark’s employment opportunities, including its Student Executive Leadership Program — an experiential learning platform that offers supervisory experience, professional development, internship opportunities and priority for post-graduation jobs, Miami officials said.

The changes come as Miami University desires to bolster menu options, upgrade mobile and kiosk ordering systems and expand national retail options.

There are also plans to renovate Kings Cafe, Miami officials said.

Each dining commons will have a more distinctive menu, with increased to-go options, additional popular national brands, and new technology, such as delivery robots and food lockers for faster meal pick-up.

“Aramark will also introduce its recipe testing and development program to seek input from Miami students, allowing the customization of food offerings that include campus tastes and traditions,” the release states.

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