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The Daily Tar Heel

Committee Set to Convene, Name Housekeeping Head

Led by Facilities Services Design Technician John Heuer, the committee will consist of two housekeepers, Student Body President Justin Young, four facilities services staff members and the director of on-campus minority recruitment, Archie Ervin.

Heuer hopes to begin meetings during the second week of May after the April 30 application deadline. Heuer said he has received a number of local, regional and national applications since the search began in February.

The new director will fill the position presently held by acting director William Burston. Burston was appointed to the position when director Michael O'Brien resigned in 1999 following a union protest. UE-150, the labor union that represents UNC's housekeepers, leveled claims of unfair treatment and wages at the University.

The new director also will likely have to deal with growing concern about the treatment of housekeepers on campus. Housekeepers and student protesters say poor working conditions -- mistreatment and underpay -- are an example of institutional racism at UNC.

Barbara Prear, leader of the housekeeping union UE-150, said assigning a new director will not resolve problems. "All the director does is direct," Prear said. "He doesn't make the rules."

Heuer has yet to speak to the two housekeepers on the committee -- Sandra Clinton and Linda Keenan -- but said he hopes their participation on the committee will play a crucial role in choosing a successful candidate. Heuer is scheduling meeting times so that all committee members, especially the housekeepers, will be able to attend.

Heuer said his brief experience as a housekeeper during the 1970s has made him sensitive to the workers' issues.

"We want a person who will provide the best leadership for the benefit of the University and the housekeepers."

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