On February 12, 2015 McGall’s Student Housing and Eating Services (SHES) announced its intent to implement a floor fellow-style working arrangement for its cafeteria employees. This plan would house workers in conveniently located subterranean housing under cafeterias and reimburse them with free food.
“McGall is facing tough financial times, by not paying our employees in actual money, we actually end up saving a lot of money,” said Janny Jorpson, McGall Residence Director, during a press conference held in front of Royal Victoria College Cafeteria.
“Montreal rent is expensive, and by providing housing right where they work, our cafeteria workers can always be on-call to serve tasty treats to members of the McGall community!” exclaimed an ecstatic Jorpson.
The construction of this subterranean housing is expected to begin in late May; approximately 100 rooms will be constructed under Bishop Mountain Hall, Carrefour Sherbrooke, Royal Victoria College, and New Residence Hall during the summer months.
Architectural plans obtained by The Weekly from SHES show that these rooms will be approximately four by four metres. Cafeteria employees will share bathrooms with students and floor fellows.
“We hope to replicate the success of our floor fellow program and the happiness of our fellows” said Jorpson.
Several floor fellows were kicked out of the press conference for disrupting the proceedings. Some shouted and waved banners reading “We are literally paid in yogurt,” “I have another job because my job doesn’t pay me except in yogurt,” and, in small print, “Yes I like Greek yogurt but I would prefer money to exchange for yogurt. Wages can be exchanged for goods and services. Come on, guys.”
Matt Thepearl, CEO of SHES, commented briefly on the disruption, “Our compensation is fair and just. Besides, cafeteria workers, like floor fellows, will have the option to barter using purchased cafeteria goods!”
Instead of having a part-time manager for each cafeteria, SHES will have one full-time manager for all cafeterias. Similar to the cutback of part-time individualized hall directors, this full-time manager will be responsible for all cafeterias.
“Having one manager will be great because we don’t need to pay a bunch of people. We are looking for a heroic multitasker with the ability to keep several balls in the air at once,” said Thepearl with a hearty laugh. “We are confident we will be able to provide the same quality of specialized service.”
Cafeteria workers have had mixed reactions to the announcement of the plans.
“I kinda wish they listened to us when we talked about the cafeteria managers. Having one cafeteria manager for all cafeterias is going to make our jobs harder,” said Kara Brown, longtime cafeteria worker. “I mean, at least we have contracts already, the floor fellows needed to fight for them.”
At the end of the conference, Jorpson hinted to a new pilot program where students could apply to be janitors, freely camp out on Lower Field, and keep half the food they scavenge from McGill’s garbage cans.