Chicago Janitors, Building Owners and Cleaning Companies Invest in Good Jobs and Help Grow Our Economy


April 13, 2012

Contact: Leslie Mendoza Kamstra 773-896-7815 or

Nell McNamara, (206) 852-5934,



Chicago Janitors, Building Owners and Cleaning Companies Invest in Good Jobs and Help Grow Our Economy

Janitors approve contract agreement that will benefit both their families and communities


CHICAGO – Area janitors are partnering with Chicago’s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and suburban cleaning contractors to protect good jobs and restore balance to our economy.

By an overwhelming margin, the janitors approved a new union contract that preserves their ability to support their families and allows them access to health care. About 7,000 working families will benefit from increased wages and protected health care over the next three years.

“Our agreement with these building owners and cleaning companies proves that responsible companies can invest in good jobs, provide health care and pay a livable wage to their employees,” says Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1. “These agreements will boost our whole local economy. SEIU Local 1 is leading the way for all working people – when you stand up together and bargain collectively, we all win.”

The new three year janitors’ union contract, which goes into affect April 9th, guarantees:

  • Annual wage increases for janitors, which will allow them to support their families in the midst of increasing cost of living in the Chicago area.
  • Protection of quality, family health insurance. The janitors plan provides comprehensive coverage for janitors and their families at one-third or half of the cost of the average family health plan in Illinois.

More than 6,000 janitors are still working to get their contracts settled. Chicago Public Schools and other publicly funded facilities have traditionally followed these area standards set by BOMA and the Local 1 janitors, but there is no guarantee.

“We are celebrating great progress today, but we are just getting started,” said Ed Washington, a janitor with Chicago Public Schools. “Now we are calling on Cook County and the City of Chicago to adopt the wage and benefit standards for janitors at Chicago Public Schools, the airports, and all publicly funded facilities set by SEIU Local 1 janitors, business leaders and BOMA.”


SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 property service workers in the central United States, including janitors, security officers and residential doormen.  Together we work to build strength for all working people, on the job and in our communities.

Comments are closed.