CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Teachers Union says a school on the city’s Southwest side is infested with mice and cockroaches.
According to a press release issued by the Chicago Teachers Union, rodent infestation and general building neglect has reached a critical point at Morrill Math & Science Elementary School, with teachers and school staff making a plea for assistance in what has become a daily health hazard for them and the students.
Nearly 700 students attend Morrill Elementary.
“This is our members’ daily life, and it is making us sick and causing emotional harm,” siad Makeesha McLaurin, a teacher at the school.
Teachers say aside from the mice and cockroach infestation, some bathrooms are inoperable and ceiling tiles are soiled. They say there’s a hole in the floor of the school’s basement filled with standing water.
“This is an atrocity, and while City Hall touts higher education rates and standardized test scores, the mayor is showing that he could care less about addressing the problem of vermin infesting not just Morrill, but a number of our school buildings,” said CTU Vice President, Jesse Sharkey.
According to the CTU press release, “Since Mayor Rahm Emanual began privatizing CPS janitorial and maintenance services in 2012, CPS has agreed to fork over more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to Aramark and Sodexo for facilities maintenance, including an additional $259 million as reported last week. The companies have, in turn, slashed janitorial staff by roughly a thousand workers, with those janitors remaining raising concerns over punishing workloads and shortages in cleaning supplies.”
The CTU says they are supporting a bill in Springfield to restore rights on school conditions. The bill was passed April 10 by the Illinois House Labor & Commerce Committee, which would strike a section of the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act, restoring the CTU’s ability to bargain, and potentially strike, over non-monetary issues like school cleanliness.