Chris Baehrend, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union’s charter division, reflects on a successful winter Charter school strike at a mid-summer barbecue.
Natasha, a special education teacher, jumped in, talking about her school, the community it serves, and how dangerous under-staffing and lax building maintenance led to a poisonous Mercury spill last school year.
SODEXOMAGIC, LLC has a multi-million dollar dollar contract for building maintenance to make sure schools like Camaras elementary are safe. To any lay person, the Mercury spill and abhorrent, gross and unsafe conditions in Chicago schools under CPS custodial, maintenance, and food service contractors Sodexomagic and Aramark both seem like clear violations of the terms and conditions of their contracts, as well grounds for False Claims Act lawsuits, but hey, maybe Lori Lightfoot’s legal team can twist this one away too like Mayor Emanuel’s cover up of the police murder of CPS diverse learner Laquan McDonald. Both the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73, whose custodians, special education aides, bus aides, and security officers recently ratified a strike vote, have been in negotiations with the school district, which has claimed it’s broke again.
Time will tell if another school strike will rock Chicago seven years later.