April 18, 2024

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A school canteen at a school in Catalonia, in a file image.
A school canteen at a school in Catalonia, in a file image.Gianluca Battista

After 13 years frozen, the price of school canteens began to rise in the 2020-21 academic year. And the next academic year it will do it again up to 6.91 euros per day, which represents an increase of 5.65% compared to the current one, as published on Wednesday by the Official Gazette of the Generalitat. In the same proportion the amount for sporadic students increases, reaching up to 7.6 euros. In practice, this will mean that families with students who use the service every day will have to pay more than seven euros more per month, counting a standard month with 20 school days.

The price of the dining room was frozen for 13 years at 6.2 euros for fixed users and 6.8 for sporadic users. But just after the confinement, in the 2020-21 academic year, Education increased it by 2%, to 6.33 euros and 6.96, respectively. Two courses later, which corresponds to the current one, the amount climbed again by 3.3%, standing at 6.54 and 7.19 euros respectively. The next year the increase will be more notable, 5.6%, up to 6.91 and 7.6 euros, respectively, that is, almost 40 cents a day.

These amounts correspond to the dining service that lasts two and a half hours (usually in the public). And it is that in the new resolution of the Department the novelty introduced last year is maintained, which establishes a different price for the dining room that lasts two hours (in the concerted one). In this case, for the next academic year the amount has been set at 6.54 euros for fixed users and 7.19 for sporadic users, 5.8% more than the current ones, which are 6.18 and 6.8 euro, respectively.

These amounts set by the Department, which are maximum prices for the service (which can be increased with prior authorization from Education), not only serve to cover the cost of food, but also that of the monitors, the activities that are organized during the space of the noon, administrative expenses and business margin.

For years now, the companies that manage the service -a large part of it is outsourced to companies of different sizes and to non-profit entities- have been asking for an increase in the price of the dining room, because they assure that the balance sheets did not balance: the cost of materials has been rising, but not so the income from the receipts of the families. Likewise, last year the employers signed a new union agreement to improve the payroll of the personnel – a feminized and highly precarious group – by 7% until 2024.

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