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•   Suki Zimmerman (Robins)  8/6
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•   Susan Faden (Pearlman)  8/21
•   Joel Laskin  8/21
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Outsourcing Dining and Custodial Employees


For some of you who don't "subscribe" to the Class Chats, note that Ted Mogan has posted there recently concerning the transiition of two employee groups from a UAW union to two outside vendors..

The new conditions of employment with these two organizations are not fully known.  The union contract ends in September, and they have filed an Unfair Labor Practices Suite against the College without its members voting on Oberlin's proposals.  Many current union employees are applying for work with the new dining and custodial vendors.

Lengthy analyses of the  negotiations by Politics Professor Chris Howell and Oberlin Trustee and Labor Attorney Chuck Birenbaum  differ sharply in their analysis of the negotiations that led to this point after the College announced its intention to move in this direction in February.  That decision follows from the One Oberlin Plan which cited the need for cost savings from union contracts commensurate with those concessions and cuts made in the faculty and administrative employment areas.

For alumni, It is another gut-wrenching and value conflicting episode in our relationships to the College.

Paul Safyan


Fund to Support Union Members

One of our classmates said that they had trouble finding the messages Ted Morgan posted.  Here they are, brought forward.  There are two posts, one appended after the other.

Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2020 04:52 PM from

Dear Classmates,

A great deal has happened since the last posting on Oberlin finances in April.

Beginning today, the Oberlin College administration is scheduled to eliminate the decent paying jobs of 114 unionized food service and janitorial workers and replace them with low-wage contractors. These workers will be cast aside in the middle of a pandemic in a town with a pre-virus 23 percent poverty rate.  The College is contracting with AVI Food Systems and Scioto Services as employers of these workers. [See paired posting of the memo to the faculty written by Professor Chris Howell who specializes in Labor politics and is familiar with the bargaining.]

As you may be aware from earlier postings, a very large group of alumni, parents, faculty and friends have tried again and again to reason with the administration and the trustees, noting how contrary to Oberlin’s progressive traditions this outsourcing would be (to say nothing of the “Learning and Labor” motto).   We’ve urged the administration and Board to go back to the bargaining table and secure a contract fair to all.  We have sent in petitions, written letters, engaged in private conversations with board members and administrators, but to no avail. Even after 2,300 alumni and parents signed a petition saying we would withhold donations until the matter was amicably resolved, we received no response at all. 

Therefore, we alumni are setting up a non-profit, charitable 1833 Just Transition Fund to support these workers if they are let go, or support the college if the jobs continue through a collective bargaining agreement with the union.

We believe it is necessary to demonstrate to the administration and board that their desire to save money by casting aside 114 workers will be offset by the resources we will direct to the 1833 Just Transition Fund.  Many are contributing to this fund instead of to the College, although the latter is also possible for those who want to contribute to both.

We are taking this step to achieve the following positive goals:

·        Securing the jobs, wages and working conditions of 114 Oberlin workers;

·        Halting the destruction of the local union;

·        Preventing more damage to the town of Oberlin that has a 23% pre-pandemic poverty rate;

·        Contributing to the mending of the growing rift between Oberlin and the town;

·        Contributing again to the College as it faces the pandemic crisis; and

·        Protecting the Oberlin progressive traditions which connect us all to each other and to generations who have worked so hard for social justice.

In a very real way, those 114 jobs now depend on how much we can raise for the fund and how quickly we can do it.

To make your pledge, please go to

So many thanks for all who have and will contribute


Gratitude from the UAW
Posted Friday, July 17, 2020 02:51 PM from

Here's a short note sent too Les Leopold by the UAW rep for the food service employees of Oberlin on hearing of the 1833 Just Transition Fund (now over $115,000 in pledges):


Hello Les,  I'm very pleased to meet you!


I think it's a beautiful idea to do an aid fund for the UAW workers that Oberlin College has outsourced. Throughout this experience the UAW workers have felt devalued and othered by the administration. 


Your group's efforts are a very moving reminder that the Oberlin we all love still exists. It's just not apparent in the actions of the current decision makers. 


With gratitude and solidarity,

Buffy Lukachko

UAW Rep. Custodial/other 



Racism Position Statement From Carmen T. Ambar in the Oberlin Review


Please discuss this with your classmates in the ?? Class Chats Tab.  The forum is called "Ambar and Others at Oberlin Address Racism"


Ambar’s PRESIDENTIAL INITIATIVE to Address Racial Injustice.





Are you here because you want to see “More” about a post you learned about via an email from Oberlin College and Conservatory 1968  site?

  Search for the name of the person who made the post.  It will be under their profile.


Go to the What's New tab on the left hand side and search for their name there.



Here is an article that appeared in Around the Square this week.

Members of the Classes of 1967 and 1969 are joining this site in order to have a single site for discussion of concerns around the Gibson's lawsuit.

Since our classes will all rejoin  for the next cluster reunion, this anticipates that.  We hope to be able to combine the current Class of 1968 and 1969 sites and make it a central portal for all three classes, once we solve  some technical issues.  Class members from '68 and '69 may also chime in on whether that's a good move before we do so.

Paul Safyan


The One Oberlin Report:

President Ambar and other Oberlin Faculty have planned a speaking tour to inform alumni about this report and the progress towards implementation.

The Report WAS adopted by the General Faculty by a nearly unanimous vote in May.

Links within the article pictured below are not active from this page.

The link to the articles referenced is:


HI, Everyone:

Thanks to Aaron Levin, we now have a recording of the Class Memorial Service, held during the Reunion. Effectively edited, it is about 26 minutes long.  You can listen to it by clicking below. Whatever software you use for listening to audio should start up when you click the link.


Click Here to listen to a recording of the Class of 1968 Memorial Service in Clonick Hall

 If for some reason that doesn't work for you, let me know.  I can email a file that is small enough for most emails to handle.