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IU Employees Fear Losing Jobs If Parking Privatized

Indiana University is considering privatizing its parking operations.

Some unionized workers at Indiana University say they are worried about losing their jobs if the school decides to privatize its parking operations.

In a short period of time, Indiana University officials could issue a request for proposals which would seek a trade: a private firm gives a large lump sum of money to the school in exchange for running IU’s parking operations for years to come.

It is not a sell-off of assets, says IU spokesman Mark Land, but a lease to help fund current operations.

“Parking is not necessarily central to the academic mission,” he says. “We’re not in the business of running parking lots, but there people who are and who will pay money for that asset.”

But that worries Communication Workers of America Local 4730 President Ed Vasquez.

“The burden is that once you start doing all these privatizations I think there will be an impetus to start privatizing other services throughout the campus,” he says. “This provides a lot of anxiety for a lot of staff.”

IU Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald has stressed the decision has not been made to lease parking services to a private contractor, but has acknowledged windfalls reaped by the likes of Ohio State University are attractive to Bloomington administrators.

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