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CPS Layoffs: 200 Lunchroom Workers Cut After Buyout Offer

By Kyla Gardner | August 2, 2013 7:00pm
 Chicago Board of Education CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. (File Photo).
Chicago Board of Education CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. (File Photo).
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DNAinfo/Adeshina Emmanuel

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools laid off 200 lunchroom workers Friday, officials said.

CPS had offered lunchroom workers over the age of 50 who had been with CPS for more than 10 years "a one-time voluntary separation opportunity," according to a statement. But of the 1,067 eligible workers, only 75 took the offer, CPS said.

Workers with medical benefits were offered $2,500 and six months fully paid, or a one-time payment of $5,000. Those without medical benefits through CPS were offered $2,500 for the voluntary resignation.

In addition, because of the shuttering of 49 CPS schools, 185 lunchroom positions were "closed." Another 130 vacant positions will not be filled.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett cited "the historic $1 billion deficit" facing CPS and a state pension reform failure by legislators as reasons for the layoffs.

"[T]oday's actions are among the reductions we are making outside the classroom in order to protect programs that support student learning," she said in a statement. "Much work remains to be done to address our financial crisis."

CPS estimates the 200 lunchroom worker layoffs will save $4 million.

After the 200 layoffs, CPS still does not meet "industry standard" for but the rest of positions closings will be met through attrition.

The cuts came weeks after the layoff of 1,036 teachers and 1,077 support staff in late July, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel said was also due to a lack of pension reform. About 400 additional teachers lost their jobs due to school closings, said Becky Carroll, CPS spokeswoman.