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OCSEA Beats Aramark Price on Food Service Bid

OCSEA presented a proposal to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to take back prison food service, which includes a lower per-meal cost than current prison food service vendor, Aramark.
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OCSEA Beats Aramark Price on Food Service Bid
OCSEA presented a proposal to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to take back prison food service, which includes a lower per-meal cost than current prison food service vendor, Aramark.

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The union representing the majority of Ohio prison employees presented a proposal to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to take back prison food service, which includes a lower per-meal cost than current prison food service vendor, Aramark.

The proposal by the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, presented Feb. 23, comes in at $1.216 per meal. Aramark’s cost is $1.275. The bid would save $2.9 million a year over the Aramark cost.

“Our proposal proves, when there’s a level playing field, public sector employees are every bit as competitive as those in the private sector,” said OCSEA Pres. Christopher Mabe, also an AFSCME International vice president. “Now, DR&C just needs to do the right thing and bring food service back under state control.”

Not only is OCSEA’s per-meal cost lower than Aramark’s price, its proposal also includes such provisions as beefed-up security and sanitation training for 338 correctional food service coordinators. In addition, OCSEA’s proposal would bring back 41 food service managers whose primary responsibility is sanitation. The bid also would keep the use of four regional monitors who were brought in with the private vendor, because the union says it is serious about cleaning up the institutions.

Numerous security and sanitation violations including maggots in food, inappropriate relationships, increased contraband, and staff and food shortages highlighted the inadequacy of Aramark’s staff training. When the contract began, Aramark employees received a scant eight hours of training. After numerous reports of security and sanitation violations, DR&C required the vendor to increase its training to 32 hours, but at the agency’s expense.

OCSEA’s proposal would bring back an even higher level of training and require food service workers to receive the same six-week training as correctional officers. Additionally, instead of only managers receiving ServSafe certification, as is Aramark’s practice, the union’s proposal will certify all food service workers.

Also under OCSEA’s bid, dozens of lieutenants and captains who were relocated to prison kitchens to monitor food service will return to providing needed security in other areas of the prisons.

 

“We believe that with well-trained staff compensated fairly, many of the security and sanitation problems we’ve experienced in prison food service will be minimized,” said Mabe.

 

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