University will compensate laid off Sodexo student workers


Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced that Pitt will financially support students who worked for the University’s outgoing campus dining partner, Sodexo, which recently laid off more than 400 workers without pay.

The University will support the affected 173 Sodexo student employees through a stipend. The stipend will include their rate of pay multiplied by the average hours they worked from the beginning of the semester through spring break. That number will then be multiplied by six weeks, the number of weeks in the semester after the University sent students home.

This comes as members of Faculty Assembly on April 2 raised concerns with Sodexo’s actions. Senate Council President Chris Bonneau followed up with Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for Business Operations, soon after the meeting.

Bonneau released a memo later that day saying that although Pitt has committed to pay all of its employees, the decision was made to not pay for contract workers including Sodexo employees, construction workers, parking lot attendants and others.

Sodexo employees make up the bulk of the University’s contract workers, and monthly personnel costs at the Oakland campus are “in the millions of dollars,” Bonneau added.

Gallagher later said that it’s “not reasonable for the University to underwrite every person who touched the University,” regarding compensation for other University contractors affected by the pandemic.

The University will transition dining services from Sodexo to Compass over the summer once Sodexo’s contract officially runs out at the end of June. Gallagher said the fact that Sodexo normally scaled down its operations over the summers will help ease the transition.

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905.


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