Source: Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, June 4, 2015
For the last several months, teachers in Chicago have been doing two jobs for the price of one: instructing kids, and occasionally taking a moment to mop, scrub, or vacuum their dirty classrooms. The extra duties are the result of a $340 million privatization boondoggle from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Among other things, it’s resulted in the Chicago Public Schools firing hundreds of janitors. Now teachers at Oriole Park elementary on the northwest side have decided to take matters into their own hands. They’ve filed a union grievance that, if successful, could force CPS to hire back some of the janitors. Apparently this is the state of things: to get CPS to clean its schools, teachers have to go all legal on them.
Chicago school cleaning contract millions over budget /Aramark has so far billed Chicago Public Schools $86 million for what was supposed to cost $64 million
Source: Becky Vevea, WBEZ, April 27, 2015
The promise of cleaner schools at a lower price has turned out to be just that — a promise. Chicago Public Schools’ three-year contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark to manage all school cleaning services is $22 million over budget, according to procurement and finance records obtained by WBEZ. Aramark has billed Chicago Public Schools $86 million for the first 11 months of its three-year contract. The first year price tag was initially set at $64 million….
CPS group rips ‘Magic’ custodian deal, contributions to Emanuel campaign
Source: Juan Perez Jr. and Cynthia Dizikes Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2015
The head of a Chicago Public Schools principals’ group again condemned privatized school custodian contracts Thursday, including an $80 million deal connected to NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, another of whose firms has since donated $250,000 to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign…. Principals and teachers have long complained about school cleanliness since the Emanuel-appointed school board overhauled how schools are cleaned with $340 million in custodial contracts awarded to the Aramark and SodexoMAGIC firms. SodexoMAGIC, one of Johnson’s companies, received an $80 million contract last year to conduct a trial program to take over custodial and facilities management services for a select group of CPS buildings. The administration said they’ve told the company to fix the problems….
Outsourced: Aramark’s Filthy Mishandling of Chicago’s Public Schools
Source: Carol Caref, Jordan Conwell and Sarah Hainds, Chicago Teachers Union, September 2014
From the summary:
….In June, 2014, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) e-mailed a survey to all of its members for whom an e-mail address was available. Over 1,000 responded to the survey and the vast majority was angry about this new outsourcing and very concerned about the health and safety of their schools. In general, concerns were raised about Aramark, but not Sodexomagic. Teachers did not blame the individual workers. They blamed CPS for outsourcing janitorial services to Aramark. They blamed CPS and Aramark for their mismanagement and for moving custodians with knowledge of a particular building to other buildings. These problems are related to CPS’ and Aramark’s stated goal of saving money by increasing staff productivity by 50%. In other words, they expect custodians to do 1.5 times as much work for less money. Because of cutbacks, 625 custodians are now responsible for cleaning 485 school buildings serving 307,110 students. Any potential cost-savings is not worth the health and safety of these children. Aramark prides itself on having “expertise in providing custodial services,” but the survey responses indicate otherwise. Comparing before and after March 1, 2014, when the custodial services became outsourced, 74% of respondents said custodial service was worse and 72% said familiar custodians were no longer in their schools. …
Rahm to Aramark: Clean up the schools or clean out your desks
Source: Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, September 16, 2014
Responding to reports of filthy conditions inside Chicago Public Schools after privatizing janitorial management, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Aramark could “clean out the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out.”… Emanuel said Board President David Vitale has been in contact with the private management firm. Vitale and other board members had voted earlier this year to give Aramark a $260 million contract to manage the district’s custodians and cleaning supplies. …
Schools CEO: privatizing janitorial services not ‘as smooth as we would like’
Source: Becky Vevea, WBEZ, September 15, 2014
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett admitted Monday that turning over management of school janitors to two private companies hasn’t been going very well. …. But so far, the outsourcing seems to have led to dirty schools, property damage, poor communication and janitors being laid off. Those complaints came to light in a survey of more than 230 principals conducted by the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education, or AAPPLE, a member-driven arm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. …
Chicago Public Schools contractor to lay off 476 custodians
Source: Lauren Fitzpatrick And Matt McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times, September 14, 2014
The move to lay off nearly 500 privately contracted custodial workers who clean Chicago Public Schools will make it harder to keep classrooms tidy, the union representing the custodians said Sunday…. The Sun-Times reported Saturday that 476 custodians who clean Chicago Public Schools will lose their jobs at the end of the month…. The cuts come after CPS officials agreed to a $260 million contract in March with the firm Aramark, which used subcontractors to employ the custodial workers, CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said Saturday. CPS principals have complained about school cleanliness since the district privatized the janitorial services, according to a survey by AAPPLE, a new activist group under the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association….