Last year, CPS announced it was ending contracts with Aramark and SodexoMAGIC for failing to properly maintain and clean schools. Control and oversight of the school maintenance was to return to CPS employees with a new vendor to help run those operations. The failure of CPS leaders to properly plan for this transition has now led to their flip flopping and planning to ask the Board of Education to authorize rehiring Aramark to clean all its school buildings.
“Mayor Lightfoot and CPS continue to fail to learn the lesson that privatization never works,” said Science Meles, Local 73 Executive Vice President. “They will have spent more than $1 billion in privatizing school maintenance services and they continue to go back on their word. In the end, the students, staff, and teachers are the ones who will suffer.”
With the COVID pandemic continuing, and the Delta variant showing an increase in cases, CPS student’s are particularly at risk with nearly two-thirds of students being under 12 and too young to be vaccinated. Interim CEO José Torres has said students, staff and visitors are required to wear masks indoors whether or not they’re vaccinated, except when eating or drinking.
“Masks aren’t enough,” said Meles. “We need to know that our schools will be properly cleaned and sanitized. We can’t trust that will happen under Aramark when they have already failed to provide adequate cleaning supplies and supervision.”