Custodians and other non-CTU workers in Chicago Public Schools are being 'laid off effective September 30, 2014' two years after their union leaders signed a deal with Rahm Emanuel and ordered their members to cross the Chicago Teachers Union picket lines during the September 2012 strike...

The letters are dated August 1, 2014. The most important paragraph reads: "Regrettably, you will be laid off effective September 30, 2014. We have determined that you do not have bumping rights. Additionally, please note that this is a permanent position closing as we do not expect to re-open your position."

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley is currently paid $215,000 per year, plus merit pay. Above, Cawley is seen at the February 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education presenting the plan to further privatize the school system's custodial work by outsourcing virtually all of it to ARAMARK and Sodexo. The members of the Board of Education approved the plan without challenging any of the financial claims made by Cawley in his Power Point presentation or addressing the massive impact the latest destruction of jobs in Chicago communities would cost. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The letters, which have been sent to custodial workers and others, represent one of the most important impacts of the vast privatization of the remaining custodial work in Chicago's public schools, which was approved by the Chicago Board of Education after a Power Point presentation by "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley in February 2014. One of the many ironies of this round of layoffs is that the workers being hit with the layoffs are among the lowest paid in the nation's third largest school system, but the "savings" supposedly resulting from the elimination of their jobs (and benefits) is being publicly counted, by CPS and City Hall, as part of the claimed $740 million "reduction" in "administration and operation." Never in the 150 year history of Chicago's public schools has so much doubletalk and outright lying been so pervasive.

Substance is trying to learn how many workers received the CPS layoff letter. The entire letter, which doesn't come from CPS but from "Total Facility Maintenance..." reads as follows:

Total Facility Maintenance, Inc.

615 Wheat Lane, Suite C

Wood Dale, IL 60191


August 1, 2014

Dear Employee --

As you know, CPS is faced with difficult financial challenges and has been forced to increase efficiencies and cut costs. That effort is impacting CPS vendors, including Aramark, Sodexo-MAGIC, and its partners. As a result we will be conducting a reduction of our workforce within CPS.

Above, the Power Point presented to the members of the Chicago Board of Education by Tim Cawley at the Board's February 2014 meeting promised that the privatization plan would improve facilities maintenance for all Chicago public schools and "train, schedule and supervise the work of 1,800 custodians..." None of the Board members asked about the impact of the plan on the custodians themselves (who immediately took a pay cut) or whether CPS would actually have 1,800 custodians left in the city's real public schools once the privatization purges were over. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt from the overhead screens during Cawley's presentation. Regrettably, you will be laid off effective September 30, 2014. We have determined that you do not have bumping rights. Additionally, please note that this is a permanent position closing as we do not expect to re-open your position.

We have been working closely with Aramark Sodexo-MAGIC and CPS to offer options to our employees to avoid or lessen the impact of the layoff. Two or more of the options listed below are available to you. On the enclosed sheet, please rank them in order of your preference with "1" being the option most desirable to you and "4" being the option least desirable to you.


1. Hire to a vacant full-time custodial position directly within CPS

2. Hire to a PART TIME/SEASONAL position (20 hours/week; full health benefits) with RJB, a Sodexo-MAGIC partner, that provides custodial services to CPS schools.

3. Resign your position in exchange for $5,000 and waive recall rights.

4. be laid off and eligible for recall for 1-year after layoff.

Please note the opportunities under options 1 and 2 are extremely limited and we cannot guarantee that your preference for those options will be honored.

Once completed, return this document, signed and dated, to the Human Resources Department of Total Facility Management, Inc. The deadline to return this document is August 14, 2014.

If you do not make a selection, you will be laid off effectivde September 30, 2014 and you will retain your contractual right to recall under the SEIU, Local 1, collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, any employee who is laid off or resigns retains the right to serve as a 'daily substitute' paid at the hourly rate of $12,95 per hour with first right of refusal for daily assignments. Because you may continue to work sporadically as a substitute, any unemployment insurance benefits you receive may be impacted each week based on the number of hours worked.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact Wendy Gonzalez at 630-766-8635 Ext. 223.

Sincerely, Wendy Gonzalez, Human Resource Administrator

cc: Lonnell Saffold, SEIU Local 1


August 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

Custodial Layoffs

At one of the final LSC meetings last school year, we were informed that the night shift had been eliminated and all clean up would be done while the students were present. I wondered what the next move would be?! I think we all need to remember "United we Stand, Divided we Fall."

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