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UW manager “to transition” to other post in wake of no-confidence letter from Local 1488 members and $1 billion building repair scandal

Steam Leak Tunnel 2-19-16The University of Washington director of facilities management and construction has been removed from that post just 12 days after the Seattle Times uncovered $1 billion in deferred building maintenance.

Damon Fetters will “transition” into the new role of director for campus engineering, UW Associate Vice President for Facilities Services Charles Kennedy announced Thursday (Aug. 18).

Observers believe the timing is not coincidental. In April, 70 percent of Local 1488 Trades members signed a no-confidence letter against Fetters. And the Aug. 6 Seattle Times story verified members’ concerns about neglected infrastructure.

The Times spotlighted a study that backed up Local 1488 members’ years-long warnings about leaky pipes, clogged drains, spilled sewage, flooding and more disrepair that the university refused to address.

“For more than a decade, maintenance workers at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus have said the UW isn’t spending enough to maintain its buildings,” the Times reported. “Now, a consultant’s report has identified a billion-dollar backlog in building fixes.”

The Times story called out Fetters by name – and Kennedy’s defense of him.

But 12 days later, Fetters is out. And Local 1488 members remain. Once again their commitment to change has been validated.

See a link to that Seattle Times story and some of the most disturbing photos you’ll ever see: http://wfse.org/uw-exposed-on-1-billion-infrastructure-gap/

3 Comments on “UW manager “to transition” to other post in wake of no-confidence letter from Local 1488 members and $1 billion building repair scandal

  1. Workers have a lot of power-management has a lot of inertia. It took a lot of pushing and prying but they moved! Look back-all over council 28 we have shifted things – from refusing to bargain to the departure of a college president.

    It also helps when you build serious allies in the communities and other unions.

  2. UW trades workers have always been committed to maintaining the UW which is a state facility to be used by all Washington citizens. Its too bad that the UW Facility Services is not committed to the same goal .

  3. UW trades workers are an inspiration to all union workers that with grit and persistence changes can and WILL happen.

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