Letter to the Editor

[email protected]

TO: The Editor of the VillanovanFR: Timothy Dietzler, Director of Dining ServicesRE: ‘Waging the cost of living’DATE: 27 January 2004

It is unfortunate that the Features article in January 23rd edition of the Villanovan, entitled ‘Waging the cost of living’, referred to outdated and inaccurate rates of pay. The research for this article was based on rates of pay that do not exist within the University. The rates of pay noted in the article were lower by $1,200 to $1,900 for the four graded positions mentioned. In addition, the article failed to include the many benefits provided by the University as part of the hourly pay system. Comparing rates of pay paid by Villanova University is complex and should include benefits in the comparison. The benefits provided by the University are extensive and certainly a consideration of associates that choose to work for Villanova Dining Services. There are also three programs that were not mentioned in the article that enable Villanova Dining Associates to increase their rate of pay as they gain experience and education in the industry.

Without question this is a very important issue that the University is addressing. Villanova Dining Services has in place a late night differential program (LND) that pays higher rates of pay up to $1,500 a year for associates willing to work later shifts. These rates are not reflected in the pay scale referred to by the article in the Villanovan. A SERVSAFE Certificate program is sponsored by the University and provided free of charge to Dining Service staff. Hourly associates that become certified by the state as food handlers receive a $500 increase in their annual rate of pay. Ownership of the certificate is another bonus; associates earn this certification and can take this certificate to other employers within the United States. Currently, Villanova Dining Services has over 75 certified food handlers in this program and an additional 27 who recently took the exam and are awaiting their results.

A new program recently introduced by Villanova Dining Services is the Career Advancement Program (CAP). In this program employees apply for acceptance and are trained in various higher skill levels by the University. Upon completion of the various skill levels, associates earn a higher grade and pay while remaining in their current position. This allows for career and salary growth without having to wait for a position to open. This program allows a Grade 1 Associate to advance to a Grade 3 level without changing positions, schedules or locations. The late night differential program and the SERVSAFE Certificate program compound on top of the Career Advancement Program hourly rate.

There are many other benefit programs in place that could also be mentioned and certainly should be considered when evaluating the effective rate of pay provided by the University.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to point out some inaccuracies in the January 23rd article and highlight the efforts we are making to address this issue.