The Fort Worth school board voted Tuesday in favor of a $26.1 million food service management contract with SodexoMAGIC that includes a last-minute amendment to allow about 800 campus cafeteria workers to remain district employees.
Trustees voted 8-0 in favor of approving the contract that is contingent upon review and final approval by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
The contract provides that all current cafeteria workers will remain district employees for as long as each individual chooses. Future job applicants to that pool of slots will have the opportunity to become district employees too.
Trustee Anael Luebanos said while issues such as food quality and cost savings are important, it was also important to support these workers.
“They are the ones feeding our students,” Luebanos said after the meeting. “These people are working day-in and day-out for our students.”
For months, the district has been exploring an outsourcing food services plan as a way to improve its focus on education while saving money. Those efforts were met with disapproval from labor advocates and several parents who urged the board to reconsider plans to outsource any workers who attended Tuesday’s meeting.
“Outsourcing these jobs not only does a disservice to them, but to our kids,” said Jason Smith, a parent and supporter of cafeteria workers.
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