Chartwells and the University of Miami: Bring Ms. Betty  back!
  • Petitioned Aileen M. Ugalde

This petition was delivered to:

General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, University of Miami
Aileen M. Ugalde
Chartwells
Human Resources Center
Resident District Manager, Chartwells
Mr. Lee Rapport
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, University of Miami
Jon Natoli
Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Miami
Patricia A. Whitely
President of the University of Miami
Donna Shalala

Chartwells and the University of Miami: Bring Ms. Betty back!

    1. Philipp Schwind
    2. Petition by

      Philipp Schwind

      Coral Gables, FL

  1.  
  2.   
October 2012

Victory

After Betty Asbury, a beloved cashier at the University of Miami, was fired from her job Philipp Schwind, a graduate student at the university, launched a campaign on Change.org to bring Miss Betty back.

In addition to creating a petition on Change.org, Philipp and the student group STAND organized speak-outs on campus and the campus newspaper wrote an editorial calling for students to speak out against injustices like Miss Betty's firing.

After over 3,800 people signed Philipp’s petition and the ensuing media coverage they won! Betty was rehired and paid back pay for the hours of work she lost because of her unjust firing.

When she heard she was getthing her job back Betty said “Thank you to everyone who signed the petition on Change.org and came out to events on campus. After I was fired I felt alone -- but seeing the community stand behind me made me know that together we could do this and I’d get my job back.”

Betty Asbury, a single mother and cashier at the University of Miami, was fired because a man used the restroom.

Recently, she didn’t notice a man pass by her cashier station while she was busy ringing up another customer.  The next day she was fired.

According to Betty, her district manager later admitted that he had reviewed the security tapes and the man had gone straight to the restroom and did not get food. 

The district manager said corporate policy prevented him from rehiring her.

Betty worked for Chartwells -- a division of Compass Group -- the largest contract foodservice company in the world with operations in over 50 countries and revenues of over $24 billion dollars in 2011. Chartwells has contracts to feed students on over 200 college campuses in the U.S.

Chartwells was allowed to fire Miss Betty because their workers are “at-will employees.” This means they can be fired at any time, without any notice.

The students of the University of Miami love Betty -- known as Miss Betty on campus -- and we want her to get her job back.

Miss Betty’s treatment sheds light on a greater issue that over 300 workers at our university are facing at Chartwells: What has happened to Miss Betty can happen to any worker at any time. Workers at Chartwells have no job security or protections, their livelihoods are left at the hands of arbitrary decisions by management.

Recently, Chartwells workers at the University of Miami have been organizing to form a union so that they can have a voice on the job and to make sure that what happened to Miss Betty does not happen again. We support the effort of these workers to organize and to try and get justice in the workplace.

We believe that this kind of treatment of such an integral part of the UM community is unacceptable. The university should demand higher standards and values for those we do business with. 

We ask for the expedient reinstatement of Betty in her workplace and for the university administration to look deeper into the issues Chartwells workers face on campus. The University of Miami is a leading institution in education and research in Florida and the nation, and should strive to set an example for the fair treatment and respect of those that are many times invisible to society.

Photo credit: Monica Herndon/The Miami Hurricane 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Betty Is Back, but It Was a Struggle, Huffington Post

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      Betty Is Back, but It Was a Struggle

      A UM dining services cashier was reinstated on Monday, but it revealed the weaknesses in her employer's appeals system. UM dining services cashier Betty Asbury was reinstated by her employer, Chartwells, on Monday after she was fired earlier this month for allegedly allowing a customer walk past her register without paying for breakfast.

    2. Dismissed UM dining hall cashier is reinstated, Miami Herald

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      Dismissed UM dining hall cashier is reinstated by food service firm - Coral Gables - MiamiHerald.com

      After several weeks of student uproar at the University of Miami, the food service provider that dismissed a dining hall cashier after she didn't charge a customer the required $6.80 breakfast fee has reinstated her. Betty Asbury, 55, however, won't be able to return to her post as a cashier at the Hecht/Stanford Dining Hall.

    3. "Miss Betty" Is Back On The Job At UM, CBS4

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      "Miss Betty" Is Back On The Job At UM

      Students at the University of Miami fought to bring back one of their favorite workers on after she was, in their opinion, unfairly fired. News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and Miami's Best

    4. UMTV coverage of our rally last week

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      Bring Betty Back

      6.80 -- that's the amount of money that one University of Miami dining hall employee says cost her, her job. She says this is a huge misunderstanding, she's asking for her job back and a group of students are supporting her. I spoke to the worker and those students about why they want to 'Bring Betty Back'.

    5. UM students rally for fired ‘Miss Betty’, Miami Herald

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      UM students rally for fired 'Miss Betty' - Coral Gables - MiamiHerald.com

      University of Miami students and employees are rallying behind "Miss Betty," a popular cashier at a campus dining hall who students think was unjustly fired. On Tuesday, dozens attended a campus demonstration to push for the reinstatement of 55-year-old Betty Asbury. About 3,200 people have signed an electronic petition calling for her reinstatement.

    6. Betty Must Be Brought Back, Huffington Post

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      Betty Must Be Brought Back

      The recent dismissal of a University of Miami dining hall cashier has the potential to ruin the reputation of the school's food service provider Students and other members of the UM community gather outside of the UM dining services office to submit a petition to reinstate Betty Asbury.

    7. Students Rally Around Fired University of Miami Cafeteria Worker, NewTimes

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      UM Students Protest Firing Of Miss Betty

      Students at the University of Miami (UM) are protesting the firing of a popular cafeteria worker. Betty Asbury was fired two weeks ago by the food service company Chartwells. According to Asbury, she was fired after a man walked by her cashier post without paying for breakfast.

    8. UM Students Protest Firing Of Miss Betty, StateImpact Florida

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      Students Rally Around Fired University of Miami Cafeteria Worker - Miami - Restaurants and Dining - Short Order

      Courtesy of Monica Herndon/The Miami Hurricane University of Miami students are rallying around a school cafeteria worker who was dismissed from her job on October 10, the day after she let a man leave the cafeteria without paying. The worker, Betty Asbury, claims the man only used the restroom and did not eat or drink anything.

    9. Reached 3,000 signatures
    10. CBS4 coverage from our meeting with Ms. Betty and students

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer
      UM Students Rally To Reinstate Fired Dining Hall Cashier

      School spirit filled the air at the University of Miami Friday night as students celebrated Homecoming. Many of them stood, literally, with the new âUâ monument in the grassy area across from the bookstore. News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and Miami's Best

    11. Staff editorial in the Miami Hurricane in support of Ms. Betty

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer

      "Miss Betty needs our support and we’re here to give it to her. Students, you can too. "

      http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2012/10/17/students-must-help-eradicate-unjust-policies/

      Students must help eradicate unjust policies | The Miami Hurricane

      To Chartwells, Betty Asbury was just a worker. But to University of Miami students, she is more than that. Known to most as "Miss Betty," Asbury spent two years swiping Cane Cards at the Hecht/Stanford Dining Hall. Students respected her. Students cared for her. Chartwells fired her. On Oct.

    12. Cover story in the Miami Hurricane about Ms. Betty's fight for her job.

      Philipp Schwind
      Petition Organizer

      Read the cover story from the last issue in the Miami Hurricane about Betty's fight to get her job back.

      http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2012/10/17/chartwells-employees-dismissal-leads-to-petition/

      Chartwells employee's dismissal leads to petition | The Miami Hurricane

      Sitting in the library of St. Bede's Episcopal Chapel on campus on Tuesday evening, Betty Asbury, known to most as "Miss Betty," started to cry. "Lord, I done lost my job," she said. "What am I to do? I done lost everything." Asbury was dismissed on Oct.

    13. Reached 1,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • leanna dixon SACRAMENTO, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      She shouldn't have been fired based upon a man using the restroom on the basis of her doing her job. If anyone else had been working there as well could have reported him before he left. Ms. Betty should be rehired because of the fact she has done her job well and has had no former complaints or written-ups. Why would they fire a woman for doing her job and a man should could not pay attention to at the time? Please hire her!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Megan De BUFFALO, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      That isn't her fault!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maria Salcedo MARYSVILLE, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      It seems very unfair.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Regina Taylor-Hines CHESAPEAKE, VA
      • almost 2 years ago

      The University of Miami should be ashamed of themselves. Her district manager was wrong, he made a mistake. It is sad that Chartwells cares so little about correcting their management mistakes.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kevin Lane ST ALBANS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • almost 2 years ago

      I fully support the actions of the students to get Miss Betty reinstated. It's an injustice that she should be dismissed for such a trivial matter. I wish Miss Betty and her coworkers great courage. As they organize together for improved working conditions and secure jobs. An injury to one is an injury to all! Solidarity from the UK.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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