Illinois

CPS to lose more custodians later this month

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SEIU Local 1 Member Newsletter – Summer 2015

Newsletter2Stay informed on what is happening across your local.

“Our recent wins are exciting, and proof that SEIU Local 1 members are leading the way for working families. The economic gains we make in our contracts not only help SEIU Local 1 members’ families live a better life, but they also promise a better future for our country.”
– Tom Balanoff, SEIU Local 1 President

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SEIU Local 1 Awards 16 College Scholarships

2015 Scholarship Winners and their Parents, all SEIU Local 1 Members

2015 SEIU Local 1 Scholarship Winners and their Parents

Unions help working families fulfill their dreams in many ways. One way SEIU Local 1 does this is by providing yearly college scholarships.

SEIU Local 1 recently awarded almost $40,000 in scholarships to sixteen members’ children, including a grand prize scholarship of $10,000.

Every year, SEIU Local 1 awards college scholarships to members and their children. These scholarships enable recipients to pursue their educational goals at colleges, universities, labor study programs and technical schools. Scholarships are funded by SEIU Local 1’s annual golf outing.

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CPS Custodians Win Raises, Sick Days

CPSContractVote2015_MG_1583 smallSEIU Local 1 members who clean Chicago Public Schools won a new three-year contract that ensures annual wage increases and protects fully employer-paid healthcare over the next three years for more than 1,400 janitors and their families. The janitors also secured two additional paid sick days, ensuring healthier Chicago families and schools.

Watch this video to witness our inspiring campaign and victory: www.seiu1.org/RaiseAmerica.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2015

Janitors Approve Contract Agreement Benefiting Both their Families and Communities; Narrow Wage Gap between Downtown and the Suburbs

CHICAGO –By an overwhelming margin, Chicagoland SEIU Local 1 janitors approved a new union contract that preserves their ability to support their families and allows them access to health care. As part of this settlement with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and suburban contractors, nearly 10,000 janitors and their families won wage increases and protected fully employer-paid healthcare over the next three years. The janitors were also able to narrow the suburban- downtown wage gap.

“These economic gains will directly benefit our region’s economy for years to come, helping hardworking families build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1. “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 effect April 6th, guarantees:

  • Annual wage increases for janitors, which will allow them to build a better future by supporting 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 half of the cost of the average family health plan in Illinois.
  • Stronger contract, which gives part time members stronger seniority rights.

Nearly 2,000 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 Paula Henriquez, 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.”

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

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10,000 Chicagoland Janitors Win Raises, Protect Healthcare

RaiseAmerica Chicago VIdeo ScreenshotIn a historic settlement with Chicago’s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and suburban contractors, nearly 10,000 janitors and their families won wage increases and protected fully employer-paid family healthcare over the next three years. This contract narrows the wage gap between downtown and suburban janitors—ensuring a better future for all of Chicagoland’s working families.

“These economic gains will directly benefit our region’s economy for years to come, helping hardworking families build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1. “SEIU Local 1 is leading the way for all working people – when workers stand up together and bargain collectively, we all win.”

SEIU Local 1 janitors came out in record numbers and stuck together with workers across the country to secure this victory. The fight for good jobs continues. Corporations like BMO Harris Bank continue to pay their contracted janitors poverty wages with no benefits. And more than 3,000 Chicago-area 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 SEIU Local 1 janitors, but there is no guarantee.

“We are celebrating great progress today, but we are just getting started,” said Paula Henriquez, 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, police stations, parks, and all publicly funded facilities set by SEIU Local 1 janitors, business leaders and BOMA.”

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BMO: Take Six Minutes of Profit to Raise America

Civil Disobedience web Toni Preckwinkle web Paula Henriquez Arrest webProtesting BMO’s poor treatment of its contract employees, which is deepening the divide between the richest 1% and the rest of working America, 20 SEIU Local 1 janitors and supporters risked arrest at BMO Harris Bank in downtown Chicago.

“The BMO janitors’ struggle is an example of what’s wrong with our economy. But this problem is solvable—there is a clear road map for what we need to change,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “Instead of driving workers deeper into poverty, our country needs good jobs that build working families up and raise standards for all workers.”

The janitors rallied with the support of faith leaders and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle outside of BMO Harris Bank to call on the wealthy corporation to do right by the hardworking janitors who clean their downtown Chicago and suburban offices by providing them with decent wages and benefits.

 

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BREAKING: Janitor Rally at BMO Headquarters for Good Jobs Prompts Act of Civil Disobedience as Janitors Block Financial District Intersection; 20 Arrested

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday April 2, 2015

CHICAGO – In an act of civil disobedience that harkens back to the civil rights movement, 20 SEIU Local 1 janitors and supporters risked arrest today at BMO Harris Bank to protest BMO’s poor treatment of its contract employees, which is deepening the divide between the richest 1% and the rest of working America. The janitors rallied with the support of faith leaders and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle outside of BMO Harris Bank to call on the wealthy corporation to do right by the hardworking janitors who clean their downtown Chicago and suburban offices by providing them with decent wages and benefits.

“The BMO janitors’ struggle is an example of what’s wrong with our economy. But this problem is solvable—there is a clear road map for what we need to change,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “Instead of driving workers deeper into poverty, our country needs good jobs that build working families up and raise standards for all workers.”

Janitors who clean BMO’s Naperville offices perform the same job as the union janitors at the headquarters in Chicago, but are paid significantly less and have no benefits. BMO Financial Group made $4.3 billion in profits in 2014. In fact, BMO makes enough profit every six minutes to raise all 10 Naperville janitors to $15 an hour with employer paid family health insurance for an entire year.

“On this Holy Day, when we recall Jesus celebrating Passover and washing the feet of his disciples, we know that those who serve us by keeping our surroundings clean and healthy, must also be honored for their dignity and worth,” said Rev. C.J. Hawking, Exec Director of Arise Chicago and one of those arrested. “These workers deserve a just contract, regardless of where they serve.”

Those arrested today include faith leaders as well as well as janitors who are bargaining for a new contract that expires in three days. Chicagoland union janitors are uniting with BMO janitors to help raise the floor for all working families.

Throughout our history as a nation, people of good will have courageously and nonviolently engaged in protest and civil disobedience to stand up for civil liberties—including the Boston Tea Party, Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad, and the fight for women to gain the right to vote.

 

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BACKGROUND: Contracts that impact the livelihood of 12,000 SEIU Local 1 members and their families expire on April 5, 2015. These janitors are joining more than 130,000 SEIU janitors in cities across the country—janitors from Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York—whose union contracts also expire in 2015 and 2016. Chicago is the first city in the country to negotiate.

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Janitors Rally at CPS for Good Jobs and Clean Schools

Ina Davis at CPS Presser 3.25.15SEIU Local 1 janitors who clean Chicago Public School (CPS) rallied at the CPS Board of Education meeting on March 25th as two custodians testified to the board. The custodians are calling on CPS to support good jobs with adequate staffing to ensure our city’s children have the clean schools they need to learn and excel.

The custodians are urging CPS to do right by the hardworking janitors who clean our city’s schools by providing them with decent wages and benefits and reinstating part-timed Aramark janitors to full-time work. Aramark, the cleaning contractor hired by CPS, laid off nearly 300 janitors who clean public schools in our city and cut  another 200 to part-time in October of last year.

“I have cleaned Chicago Public Schools for 19 years,” SEIU Local 1 member Ina Davis told reporters. “Every night I clean 23 classrooms, 17 bathrooms and 72,000 square feet of hallway. I am here to tell CPS: I want to clean your schools; you want your schools clean. Help me. I feel like I’m doing triple time.”

Despite working extremely hard, the current custodial workforce is not allowed enough hours to keep our schools clean. Chicago and its schools are safer, cleaner and more prosperous when their workers are fairly compensated and they have adequate staffing.

Contracts that impact the livelihood of 22,000 SEIU Local 1 members and their families are expiring on April 5, including hundreds who work at CPS.

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BMO is Putting Profits Over People

CHUY0031Chicago janitors, joined by Chicago Jobs with Justice and workers with the Fight for $15, formed a human chain down LaSalle Street in Chicago on March 25, 2015, to call on the wealthy BMO corporation to do right by the hardworking janitors who clean their offices by providing them with a living wage and benefits.

Janitors with EBM, Inc. who clean the BMO offices in Naperville perform the same job as the union janitors at the BMO headquarters in Chicago but are paid less than $15,000 a year and have no benefits.

BMO Financial Group made $4.3 billion in profits in 2014. In fact, every six minutes BMO makes enough money to raise the pay of all 10 Naperville janitors to $15 an hour and provide them with family health insurance for an entire year.

Chicagoland janitors, who clean the buildings and office space of the richest corporations in America, are rallying for a good contract with a wage increase that will keep their families out of poverty. The contract is negotiated only every three years and expires on April 5, 2015.

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