May 20, 2015 |
Another union has a deal with the Philadelphia School District. The members of Unite Here Local 634, which represents school cafeteria workers and noontime aides, has ratified a four-year contract that contains benefits savings and work-rule changes, including a weakening of seniority rights. The 2,000 workers - the school system's lowest paid - will actually get pay bumps that officials said are made possible by allowing the district to temporarily stop payments to the union's health and welfare fund.
May 20, 2015 |
ANOTHER UNION has agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia School District that will save the district money and decrease the role of seniority. No, not that union. Unite Here Local 634, which represents 2,200 cafeteria workers and student-climate staff, signed off on the pact Saturday with a unanimous vote. The School Reform Commission is expected to approve it Thursday. The contract, which runs through September 2017, will provide members with a raise each year, but also includes key work-rules changes the district sought.
April 26, 2013 |
FANNIE MAE ASKEW loved to sing the old gospel songs. Songs like "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and "How Great Thou Art" seemed to take her closer to her spiritual home. Even in her final illness, Fannie was singing the hymns. A daughter of the South, Fannie Mae worked for the Philadelphia School District as a cafeteria helper at Pepper Middle School, and was an active member of Mount Zion Baptist Church for many years. She died Tuesday at age 93. She was living in Newtown Square and had lived previously in Southwest Philadelphia.
November 6, 2012 |
Asked to describe the quality of her school cafeteria's food last year, Sophia Santiago wrinkled her nose. She narrowed her eyes. She chose her words carefully. "The pizza tasted like rubber," said Sophia, 11, a sixth-grader at Juniata Park Academy. "I am so serious. " "Kids would just throw their whole lunch away," added fifth-grader Joseph Hamas, 10. Squeezed by increasingly brutal budgets, the Philadelphia School District in recent years has moved to close dozens of full-service cafeterias, switching those schools to meals prepared in a warehouse in Brooklyn and trucked into Philadelphia.
October 5, 2012
Kids may not like it, but schools are on the right track with healthier lunch menus that serve up more fruits and vegetables and less junk food. Under nutritional standards that took effect this year, cafeterias must serve twice as many fruits and vegetables while limiting proteins and carbohydrates. High school students are restricted to a maximum of 850 calories. The healthier menu was pushed by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let's Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.
January 23, 2012
I now interrupt this bad budget news for another story of how kids do great things in Philadelphia schools every day. School cafeteria food is a perpetual joke - unappetizing, unidentifiable mystery meat, meals heavy on carbs and light on fresh ingredients. Three seniors at the Girard Academic Music Program, a Philadelphia School District magnet school in South Philadelphia, want to fix that. Jasmine Oliver is part of a group exploring how they can get more fresh fruits and vegetables in city schools.
August 11, 2011 |
After the tables were properly set, the ice water was poured, and everyone was seated, the chef greeted guests and described the lunch prepared for them: Beef lasagna with homemade tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese; roasted red peppers with rosemary; green salad with creamy herb vinaigrette; and for dessert, lemon granita. The table captains, outfitted in white chef's jackets, were summoned to carry trays of food and serve it family style. Not exactly the setting or menu you might expect for an urban school cafeteria, but such was the scene at Girard College in North Philadelphia last week, where 260 city kids ages 6 to 17 were having lunch at a camp program.
July 12, 2011
Every cut the School District has made this spring will have a negative impact on children. Cutting 26 school cafeterias to save $2 million is extremely shortsighted. One in five children in the United States is overweight or obese, and the number is growing. The chief causes are lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits. Poverty often plays a significant role in childhood obesity. Preventable diseases - diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol - are just a few of the lifelong consequences.
July 9, 2011 |
Vanessa Thomas was already struggling with the loss of her job as a Philadelphia School District cafeteria worker. She was one of 3,000 employees laid off last month. But Thursday, Thomas got the shock of her life when she called her credit union to see if her final paycheck had been deposited. The $750 she was expecting wasn't there. Instead, there was only a deposit of $150, she said. "When it was time for me to withdraw money, it was just a few dollars in there," said Thomas, 43, who lives in West Oak Lane.
November 24, 2010 |
Marion B. Rowan, 83, of Gloucester City, who helped reorganize the St. Mary School's library in the late 1960s and went on to manage the school's cafeteria for many years, died Friday, Nov. 19, of complications from a leg injury and a preexisting heart condition at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden. As a member of St. Mary School's Parent-Teacher Association in the late 1960s, Mrs. Rowan took a library cataloging course and started volunteering at the school's library. Mrs. Rowan and the PTA president at the time, Regina Pyrah, reorganized the school's library to follow a specific filing system, Pyrah said.