University of Tennessee Knoxville staff, faculty and students joined local business leaders, state representatives and faith leaders in a demonstration Monday to call on university officials to "opt-out" of Gov. Bill Haslam's outsourcing plan.
The demonstration was organized by United Campus Workers.
Last week, a bill to introduce oversight in outsourcing was heard in summer study in the General Assembly. If the university were to "opt-in", United Campus Workers believe as many as 10,000 facilities jobs, including hundreds in Knoxville, would be outsourced.
Those who oppose the plan fear it will result in job loss, loss of oversight and accountability, reduced services and negative consequences for local businesses which provide services to campuses.
In a taping of Inside Tennessee earlier this summer, Haslam said workers are protected under his plan.
"We've put the protection in there. It's clear. They won't lose seniority, benefits or salary and we put protection of quality of service. Now, every institution gets to go back and choose for themselves," Haslam said.
Twenty-two local businesses contracted with the university sent a letter to UTK's Chancellor Beverly Davenport last week urging her to opt-out.
Members of the campus workers union said they believe Davenport will make her decision about the plan sometime in September.