Tufts University redacts layoff figures from public statement, number of cuts now unclear

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The highlighted portion of this paragraph was redacted from later versions.

Update 6:30 p.m: University spokesperson, Kim Thurler, explains the discrepancy between the posts as an error. A previous draft of the announcement was posted by mistake and has since been updated.

Although this explains why the public announcement and university-wide email didn’t match, the number of janitors currently laid off has yet to be clarified.

The announcement, as did the original email, says six janitors will receive layoff notices from DTZ. Both SEIU and TLC have disputed that figure.

A portion of a Tufts’ university-wide email concerning custodial staff cuts has been redacted from the public version of the announcement.

On June 8, 2015, Tufts Executive Vice President, Patricia Campbell, and Vice President of Operations, Linda Snyder, updated the Tufts community, saying six janitors will be laid off with the rest occurring by the end of August.

The fact that six janitors received layoff notices has since been contested by members of the Tufts Labor Coalition, a worker advocacy student group, in this public statement released on June 12.

In contrast to the university’s announcement, the statement says only three layoffs were issued, with one retracted, due to a mistake on DTZ’s part. (DTZ is the company to which Tufts’ outsources its cleaning.)

Nicole Joseph, an organizer in TLC, has since reported that discrepancies remain between the Tufts administration, the janitor’s union and DTZ as to the actual number of cuts.

“On our end right now, there isn’t full confirmation or agreement on how many people [have been cut],” Joseph said in a phone interview, “because on the ground, four layoffs are being reported by janitors, but DTZ seems to think there’s only 2 or none.”

The janitor’s union, Service Employees International Union, was unable to speak to this inconsistency. DTZ could not be reached for comment.

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I am a photojournalist and digital reporter with an interest in media innovation, digital platforms, and political systems. I make pictures and report on labor.

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