Tag Archives: Connecticut

Off the Aramark / New Haven schools have two months to learn how to serve 5 million lunches

Source: By Betsy Yagla, New Haven Advocate, Tuesday, May 20, 2008

…… After a long and hard-fought battle, unionized school cafeteria workers succeeded in forcing New Haven public schools to put Aramark’s 14-year-old food service contract out to bid. (Aramark continues to manage school maintenance.) When none of the bids were up to snuff, the schools decided to take the program in-house. Aramark’s contract ends June 30. The following day, the job of running a healthy, cost-effective lunch program falls to the Board of Education.

…. Has Aramark been skimping on food to city schools since losing its lucrative contract as food service provider? Several cafeteria workers say it has, and suspect retaliation. “We’re down to one entrée,” says Grace Daniele, a shop steward and cook at Nathan Hale School.

……. Daniele says she used to serve three or four meal choices at lunch time. “It changed completely after they were notified they’d no longer be our management company,” says Daniele.

Panel forms to privatize school health clinics

Source: JOHN BURGESON, Connecticut Post, 05/06/2008 11:05:15 PM EDT

Mayor Bill Finch, excoriated in recent days over his proposed budget that would deeply cut the school health clinics, said Tuesday the clinics could remain open if they were privatized. Finch, at a news conference in City Hall Annex, announced the formation of a seven-member committee that will make recommendations for turning over operation of the 10 school clinics to private health care providers.

……. Finch was referring to the reimbursement the city gets from Medicaid for services provided at the clinics. Other health care providers can bill Medicaid at a higher rate than the city if they’re federally qualified, officials say.

State starts probe of Aramark food service

Source: By Elizabeth Benton, New Haven Register (CT), Sat, Apr 19, 2008

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has begun a probe of beleaguered school lunch provider Aramark Corp., citing concerns about “reports of deficient food quality and service” and inappropriate handling of food rebates and discounts. In a Friday letter to Aramark General Counsel Bart Colli, Blumenthal “strongly urged” Aramark to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests submitted by local unions, and requested Aramark provide similar information to his office by April 28.

…… Aramark is fighting a Freedom of Information Act request for Aramark’s financial records from the Service Employees International Union, which claims the company has run deficits in its food service programs nationwide.

Aramark On The Way Out

Source: by Allan Appel, New Haven Independent (CT), April 29, 2008

New Haven’s public schools are moving toward managing their own kitchens. The surprise announcement came during a briefing by Chief Operating Officer Will Clark at the Board of Education’s (BOE) monthly meeting Monday.

…… Larry Dorman, a spokesman for AFSCME Council 4 local 287, representing the custodians and local 3144, which represents facilities supervisors at the schools, said Aramark’s ejection from the food business is “only half the equation. We need to see them expelled from the facilities maintenance as well.”

Opposition to Aramark's bid for food contract heating up

Source: Samantha Broussard-Wilson, Yale Daily News (CT), Thursday, March 27, 2008

After last week’s emotionally charged public hearing before the Board of Aldermen — which was attended by over 200 public-school cooks, custodians, teachers, parents and students — Aramark may soon be leaving town. But the company isn’t going without a fight.

…… Larry Dorman, a spokesman for the Local 287 division of Council 4, said the most efficient and effective model the city could adopt would be a self-managed model rather than an outside-contractor setup. “We think the mayor and the aldermen really need to look hard at why the city has spent millions of dollars with an outside contractor to essentially act as an incompetent middle man,” Dorman said.

Aramark excoriated at aldermen's public hearing

Source: By Maria Garriga, New Haven Register (CT), Wed, Mar 19, 2008

Aramark Corp. took a beating Tuesday at a public hearing held by the Board of Aldermen’s finance committee. Between 120 to 130 people crowded into the aldermanic chambers for a public excoriation of the food and custodial service management company for its food, service and repeated fiscal deficits in running school programs.

….. Janitors criticized Aramark over inadequate staffing, defective equipment and ignoring employee concerns. “Things don’t get fixed,” said Robert Montuori, president of Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 287.

Related articles:
New Haven Independent: Chicken — & Company — Blasted / They came to bash Aramark, which was missing in action.

Union billboards slam Aramark on trash bins

Source: Elizabeth Benton, New Haven Register (CT), Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Union-sponsored billboards that target Aramark Corp. will hit the Elm City this week as part of an accelerating union campaign to remove the Philadelphia-based company from oversight of maintenance of public schools.

The 10 billboards, paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 4, target Aramark for the purchase of what custodians claim are unwieldy, ineffective and overpriced “bear-proof” trash Dumpsters.

Rowland-era sweetheart deal cost millions

Source: By KEN DIXON, Connecticut Post, 01/31/2008

A multi-year investigation (.pdf) into a Rowland-era sweetheart contract to privatize Connecticut’s worker’s compensation claims, indicates the state may have overpaid tens of millions of dollars. The no-bid contract, awarded through the state Department of Administrative Services, used $80 million in state bonding funds, usually used for long-term capital construction projects.

……. Blumenthal, in a morning news conference in his office, said that while there was no apparent criminal activity – and no written order from Rowland to hire the consultants – the state clearly overpaid a consulting company to settle hundreds of worker’s compensation claims, using college interns who were paid $105 per hour. He said that state employees were clearly capable of settling the claims, but in the move to privatize the work, taxpayer funds were misspent.

….. He said MRM Consulting, Inc. made a “deeply flawed” consultant’s report advising an outside contractor be hired.

…… A firm called ACE Financial Solutions, LLC, was paid $80 million. About $60 million was spent to settle about 545 of the 600 worker’s compensation claims and ACE has been collecting interest on the remaining $20 million.

Aramark faces allegations in city schools

Source: Samantha Broussard-Wilson, Yale Daily News (CT), Friday, February 1, 2008

Aramark, the food-services company formerly employed by Yale University Dining Services, is now facing allegations of mismanagement and poor food quality from cafeteria workers and custodians in New Haven Public Schools.

…… The rally is being organized by UNITE HERE, a union that includes hotel, restaurant and some cafeteria employees and is affiliated with the Federation of Hospital and University Employees, the union for service workers at Yale. Council 4 and Service Employees International Union, both custodial-worker unions, are also involved in the organizing the rally.

…… The Local 287 division of Council 4 had almost 100 percent of its membership sign a petition calling for the Board of Education to fire Aramark, said Larry Dorman, a Council 4 spokesman.

Custodians want break with Aramark

Source: By Elizabeth Benton, New Haven Register (CT), Mon, Jan 14, 2008

Nearly 200 custodians working in city schools will petition the Board of Education tonight to terminate its relationship with Aramark Corp, calling the Philadelphia company’s performance in New Haven an “unmitigated disaster.”

“There’s no more working together. There’s no more covering for them,” said Robert Montouri, president of Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 287.