UMass Boston Janitor Ousted After 30 Years: ‘I Just Want to Keep Working'

After 30 years of cleaning the campus of UMass Boston, Bob Carroll was told it's time to go.

"The way I look at life, one job complements the other," said Carroll, who turns 63 on Christmas Day.

Carroll is meticulous.

"He always smiles at everybody," said senior Ali Bowers. "Very nice guy."

In his hands he holds his tools -- a broom and pan.

Every leaf, bottle and cigarette butt is his for the taking.

"I just want to keep working, you know?" said Carroll.

Every day, he walks 25 minutes from his home in South Boston to the campus in Dorchester.

About a week ago, he was pulled to the side.

"All I know is that Jan. 13 is supposed to be my last day," he explained.

According to Carroll, he is losing his job as a part of the school's budget crisis.

DeWayne Lehman, the school's director of communications, said 36 employees are being laid off and seven are having their hours cut as a result of the university's $30 million deficit.

"They have all this money to build new dorms and stuff, but not pay people?" asked sophomore Trina Tran.

According Lehman, "layoff decisions were the result of a thorough, deliberative process during which managers across the campus were asked to review the scope of their activities, assess staffing needs and determine where reductions could occur."

Lehman said employees were given 60-90 days notice, severance eligibility, eligibility for outplacement and other job search services, as well as onsite support from the employee assistance program.

"You're hurting real people out there," said junior Douglas Do.

Carroll's concern is if he takes a new job, it will take him a while to make the wage he has now.

There is the chance that he could keep his position at the school. Carroll said he could "bump" another worker. That means they would be laid off instead of him.

He said it's not something he wants to do, but he may have no choice.

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