A Message from President Bill Iacullo
President, Local 143 Engineers
Thank you for visiting our website and staying informed on the negative impact of privatization of our Chicago Public School engineers and other CPS employees.
The operating engineers have served the CPS for 115 years. I’ve been a Chicago Public Schools employee for 42 years, and I’m the chief engineer at Lincoln Park High School. I know what it takes to keep CPS facilities clean, safe and favorable to learning.
Being CPS employees, our first goal is the safety of the school building and the students, faculty and staff – not to private employers receiving lucrative contracts.
In 2012, the Chicago school system privatized management of custodial services at all school buildings, except 33 newer buildings, by outsourcing custodial services to Aramark – a private for profit venture. This management was provided at NO additional cost by CPS engineers prior to Aramark in 2012. Unfortunately, principals at the Aramark privatized custodial managed schools report firsthand that these schools have never been filthier and the lack of staff, supplies and cleanliness remains an unacceptable danger to students.
In 2014 the Board of Education privatized facility management including engineers and custodians to SodexoMagic, another for profit venture in 33 newer schools where the average age of those schools was 13 years old. This privatization diverted some $80 million from public education to private profits.
In addition to these privatization schemes, the Board recently authorized the expansion of privatization of the 33 Sodexo/Magic schools to an additional 50 schools, giving Aramark 15 and Sodexo Magic 25 additional schools through no bids. This Board action will jeopardize the safety of our schools by reducing engineering services while diverting millions more from classrooms to Aramark and SodexoMagic’s corporate profits. These pilot programs will eventually be expanded to all CPS facilities, draining more than $500 million annually in wasted taxpayer dollars at the expense of educating our children.
As professional educators, staff, parents, community organizations and taxpayers, we could not prevent Barbara Byrd Bennett’s similar pattern of no bid contract awards and corrupt behavior, but our collective voices now can prevent a similar outcome by putting Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Forest Claypool and the Board of Education on notice.
Please look closely at our website to learn the facts and see what the media, parents and professional educators are saying about Mayor Emanuel’s privatization scheme.
See who is making the money. Who is getting campaign cash. Find out how our children are being deprived scarce public funds as a result.
We trust that once you see how this privatization scheme allows a few to unjustly profit at the expense of all our students, you’ll join us in signing our petition opposing privatization and calling for principals’ oversight of custodians and engineers.
Please send us your pictures anonymously of the horrible conditions of CPS facilities to help keep the community informed.