Missouri

St. Charles Community College and Part-Time Faculty Teams Successfully Ratify Initial Contract

ST. LOUIS – St. Charles Community College part-time faculty members overwhelmingly ratified their first contract, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on July 17, 2017.

The four-year agreement, expiring in 2021, will increase wages; stabilize scheduling for the part-time faculty members; allow part-time faculty equal academic freedom with full-time faculty; and improve the lives of the faculty, and more importantly, the students at St. Charles Community College.

“This ratification is a really big moment for SCC adjuncts in gaining respect and recognition on campus,” said Lisa Decarli, part-time faculty member in sociology. “Through this contract, not only will we get pay raises, but we’ll also have increased job security, a formal grievance process, and a respected and powerful voice on campus. I’m so thrilled to be part of this national movement to make higher education fairer.”

The agreement demonstrates the vital role part-time faculty play in the world-class, innovative learning environment that the college provides. St. Charles Community College is committed to expanding access to higher education and professional and career development for students, businesses and communities served.

“Part-time faculty are an important part of the SCC community,” said Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D., SCC president. “We are pleased that continued collaboration between the team has resulted in an agreement that demonstrates their value and improves the student experience.”

The more than 250 St. Charles Community College part-time faculty members voted to join Service Employees International Union Local 1 on March 3, 2016.

 

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest including janitors, security officers, higher education faculty, food service workers, and others. Local 1 is committed to improving the lives of its members and all working people by winning real economic justice and standing at the forefront of the fight for immigrant, racial, and environmental justice.

St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.

 

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Republican Lawmakers Take A Raise Away From St. Louis Workers

Two months ago, Cynthia Sanders got a raise at her janitorial job, from $8.30 to $10 per hour, after St. Louis passed a law raising its minimum wage. The extra money has helped the 51-year-old cover groceries and utilities as she raises three grandchildren.

But in just a few weeks, Sanders’ pay rate could drop back down again, thanks to a new law Republicans in the Missouri legislature passed invalidating St. Louis’ minimum wage.

“It was life-changing to get this, and it’s going to be life-changing to have it taken away,” said Sanders, who cleans four kitchenettes and eight bathrooms per shift at a Wells Fargo building downtown. “You’ve got children looking at you to be a provider. How do I tell them we’ve got to eat noodles again this week?”

Like other low-wage workers in Missouri and beyond, Sanders finds herself caught in a political and legal battle between local Democrats and state Republicans. As blue cities become incubators for progressive policy, their red state legislatures are trying to thwart them through “preemption laws” that forbid cities and counties from implementing their own measures related to the minimum wage, paid sick days, plastic bag taxes and other hot-button issues.

So far, Republican state legislators are winning the fight. In Missouri, for example, the GOP controls both chambers of the statehouse as well as the governor’s mansion.

Under the law Republicans passed in response to St. Louis’ new ordinance, no locality could have a minimum wage higher than the state level of $7.70 per hour. And St. Louis is not the only city immediately affected. A referendum to gradually raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $15 was slated to go on the ballot in August.

Gov. Eric Greitens (R) said he does not intend to veto the bill. So under the rules of the Missouri Constitution it will eventually go into effect automatically, reverting the St. Louis minimum wage to $7.70 on Aug. 28. It would also preempt the minimum wage under consideration in Kansas City.

As Missouri Governor Eric Greitens lowers the minimum wage for over 35,000 working families in St. Louis, SEIU Local 1 members refuse to go down without a fight! Read the full HuffPost story, featuring Cynthia Sanders, a Local 1 janitor!

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SEIU Local 1 Janitor Sierra Parker Slams Governor Greitens’ Decision to Cave to Rich Special Interests on HB 1194

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 30, 2017
CONTACT:
Nick Desideri (630) 779-5510 desiderin@seiu1.org

SEIU Local 1 Janitor Sierra Parker Slams Governor Greitens’ Decision to Cave to Rich Special Interests on HB 1194

ST. LOUIS– The following statement is from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitor Sierra Parker, who saw her wage increase to $10 under St. Louis’ minimum wage hike.  Just now, Governor Eric Greitens announced he will not veto HB 1194, meaning he will slash St. Louis’ minimum wage from the current $10 back down to $7.70, taking money out of the pockets of tens of thousands of working people:

“Governor Greitens’ announcement today shows his decision was never about Missouri’s working families. It was always about lowering wages and making his rich donors happy.

“The $10 minimum wage has already changed my life for the better. Now, Governor Greitens intends to take money out of the pockets of more than 35,000 St. Louis working families. For me and so many others, that means going back to living paycheck to paycheck.

“He thinks he can sneak his decision by us over the holiday, but this doesn’t change anything. Working people will keep up the fight to hold him accountable.”

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SEIU Local 1 represents more than 8,000 janitors, higher education faculty, public sector workers, school custodians and industrial workers across Missouri. Together, SEIU Local 1 members fight for an economy that works for all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

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Fighting for a Better St. Louis

The following op-ed by SEIU Local 1 janitor Cynthia Sanders appeared in the June 20 edition of the St.  Louis Post-Dispatch:

“Imagine receiving a raise that would change your life. Now imagine that extra money being torn away from you just a few months later.

“About 35,000 working people across St. Louis face that prospect after finally receiving a little relief, and I am one of them. I’ve worked as a janitor for nine years, helping to support my grandchildren, and I know what it’s like trying to raise a family while the cost of living keeps going up. At $8.30 an hour, scraping by was tough. But in May, the minimum wage in St. Louis rose to $10, and my life changed immediately. I can pay the bills and have a bit to spare for my granddaughters, for their back-to-school supplies, for our groceries. The higher wage, which are supposed to rise again to $11 in 2018, helps me and so many other working families afford the everyday necessities that others may take for granted.

“Now, families can spend money on things we need while putting money back into our communities. Businesses in our neighborhoods will make more money and grow. We know when wages rise for one group of people, they rise for everyone. This change has the power to transform St. Louis for the better, especially in the neighborhoods left behind where change is most needed.

“Poverty isn’t a state of mind. It’s a trap far too many St. Louis families, nearly one in four, find themselves stuck in, and a higher minimum wage helps to give us the tools to climb out. It will help St. Louis residents from all backgrounds. Across the country, cities that have raised the minimum wage have seen job growth go up and wages rise for more than just for minimum-wage workers.

“But Republicans in Jefferson City passed a bill, HB 1194, that would reverse the progress we’ve made. If Gov. Eric Greitens signs the bill like his rich dark-money donors want him to, the St. Louis minimum wage would drop from $10 back down to $7.70 on Aug. 28. That means a summer of hope followed by a massive pay cut for 35,000 people.

“It means taking home $1,800 less every year for thousands of working people across our city. The governor and other Jefferson City politicians would take money out of my family’s pocket to satisfy the super-rich donors contributing to their political campaigns and PACs.

“I pick up my granddaughters from school after work every day, and on our way home we discuss all the normal stuff — what they learned in class, and what they want to be when they grow up. With a little extra money in my pocket I can support their dreams. For the first time in so long, I’ve felt more hope for what the future could bring for my family.

“But that is hope that would be dashed if the minimum wage is slashed. How can we save for college when my entire check gets eaten up by rent, bills and gas? How can we work and save for a better future when we can’t even afford the present? How can we tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when we don’t even have the shoe leather?

“Gov. Greitens and other politicians who are out of touch want to take away my peace of mind and a brighter future for my family and do the same to tens of thousands of others. Working people in our cities should be able to decide what is best for our own future. We need a voice in deciding a minimum wage that reflects our needs and addresses the cost of living in our communities. I know what’s best for my family and my neighborhood. My neighbors know what’s best for theirs. Politicians all the way out in Jefferson City do not.

“Don’t take away the tools we need to change our lives, Gov. Greitens. Don’t take money out of our paychecks — my family and so many others in St. Louis are already on the brink. Making HB 1194 the law and lowering the minimum wage would be unimaginably cruel.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, and Allies Urge Governor Greitens: Clean Up Your Act, Ditch Dark Money, and Protect the $10 Minimum Wage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 15, 2017
CONTACT: Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510
Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich miltkoi@seiu1.org 708-655-9681

Amidst bipartisan calls for an investigation into Governor Greitens’ dark money network…

SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, and Allies Urge Governor Greitens: Clean Up Your Act, Ditch Dark Money, and Protect the $10 Minimum Wage

Signing HB 1194 would rip $75.6 million from the paychecks of 42,000 St. Louis working people annually

ST. LOUIS– On Thursday, June 15, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitors, fast food workers and faith and community allies rallied outside City Hall to urge Governor Eric Greitens to buck the wishes of his dark money donors, protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage, and honor the voices of city voters. The governor, who has repeatedly refused to release information on the big-money special interests behind his campaign, has HB 1194 on his desk. If he does not veto the bill, Governor Greitens would cave to his donors, lower the city’s minimum wage from $10 to $7.70, and take an estimated $75.6 million out of the pockets of more than 42,000 St. Louis working families annually.

“When the St. Louis minimum wage went up, my life changed. Now I can pay the bills on time,” said SEIU Local 1 janitor Sierra Parker. “Governor Greitens needs to stand with the working families instead of his dark money donors. He doesn’t know what it’s like to walk in our shoes. Don’t take money out of our pockets.”

“HB 1194 is simply a bad bill,” said state Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis). “It is set to take money out of the pockets of working people. When a community wants to show initiative and lead on issues – like economic development and workers’ rights – the state legislature should get out of the way. The people of St. Louis have spoken; the state legislature should respect that. At the end of the day, this is a St. Louis issue decided by the people of St. Louis for the city of St. Louis.”

“If the Governor does not veto the pre-emption bill, on August 28 I will have to go back to deciding which bills are going to get paid, and which ones are not,” said Show Me $15 fast food worker Bettie Douglas.  “No one should have to decide whether or not they are going to have their electricity cut off or not to have food on their table. Today, on the 27th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day, fast food workers proudly stand with janitors in St. Louis and across the country.  We will stand together and we will fight back.”

Outside City Hall, Local 1 janitors, armed with brooms, buckets, and mops, “cleaned up” the mess left behind by low wages including crime, poverty, and struggling neighborhoods and took out the trash on politicians like Governor Greitens who stand with secretive billionaire donors instead of working people.  The action took place on the 27th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day, on which hundreds of peacefully protesting janitors were arrested. St. Louis janitors honored that memory by fighting to protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage.

States and cities across the United States raise the minimum wage, and while janitors are moving the Midwest forward, politicians like Governor Greitens are doing their best to hold them back. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Missouri state senators called for an investigation into A New Missouri, a political action committee (PAC) linked to the governor, which is not required to release a list of donors. Local 1 janitors and allies called on Governor Greitens to listen to the voices of St. Louis voters instead of his secretive big-money donors and protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage.

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SEIU Local 1 represents more than 8,000 janitors, higher education faculty, public sector workers, school custodians and industrial workers across Missouri. Together, SEIU Local 1 members fight for an economy that works for all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

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Union Janitors Rally, Calling for Greitens to Uphold Minimum Wage

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Union janitors rally in downtown St. Louis calling on Missouri Governor Greitens to uphold the $10 an hour minimum wage in the city.

Janitor Eugene Hubbard says the people who clean your office have bills to pay too.

“You know, these people go to work everyday and they go to a clean building,” Hubbard says. “Half the janitors they don’t even see, because a lot of us are at not – but they do see our work.”

Sierra Parker is a janitor at a corporate office downtown and says she is fighting for the minimum wage.

“The message here today is to fight for justice for the janitors and not just only the janitors, but the fast food workers too,” Parker says. “We need this $10 minimum wage.”

Governor Greitens has yet to sign a bill passed in the regular session, House Bill 1194. The bill would repeal the higher minimum wage in the city of St. Louis.

Read the full story, featuring Local 1 members, over at KMOX!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEIU Local 1 Janitor Willie Cannon Responds to Missouri Senate’s Last-Minute Passage of HB 1194

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2017
CONTACT:
Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510

SEIU Local 1 Janitor Willie Cannon Responds to Missouri Senate’s Last-Minute Passage of HB 1194

ST. LOUIS – The following statement is from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitor Willie Cannon. For years, SEIU Local 1 janitors, adjunct faculty, and public sector workers have been at the forefront of the fight to raise the minimum wage in St. Louis. Today, in the final hours of legislative session, the Missouri Senate passed HB 1194:

“By voting today to lower wages for tens of thousands of working people, the Missouri Senate turned back the clock on working families and our neighborhoods.

“The wage increase has already gone into effect, so HB 1194 would slash paychecks for 35,000 St. Louis working families.

“But Local 1 members are ready to fight to make sure Governor Greitens sides with working families and not special interests.”

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SEIU Local 1 represents more than 8,000 janitors, higher education faculty, public sector workers, school custodians and industrial workers across Missouri. Together, SEIU Local 1 members fight an economy that works for all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

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Minimum wage law takes effect in St. Louis, May 5 [VIDEO]

St. Louis PresserST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – An ordinance setting the City of St. Louis’ minimum wage to $10 takes effect Friday, May 5. According to a news release, the Circuit Court lifted its injunction that previously blocked the ordinance from becoming law. The minimum wage will rise to $11 beginning January 1, 2018.

Watch the full video, which includes an interview with Local 1 janitor Cynthia Sanders, over at Fox 2 News.

If you have any questions about the minimum wage increase, please call the Member Resource Center at (877) 233-8880, Monday – Friday, between 9am and 5pm. We want to work with you to make sure you can receive the raises you’re owed.

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St. Louis minimum wage increase takes effect Friday

STL FlagST. LOUIS – St. Louis City will raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour as the clock strikes midnight May 5. Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer lifted the injunction on the city ordinance that will bring the wage increase into effect.

The bill will eventually cap out at $11/hour as of Jan. 1 , 2018.

Minimum wage workers, like Richard Bullion of the Service Employees International Union, celebrated the announcement Friday.

“Too many working people in St. Louis need to take a second job just to keep our head above water. Between bills, food, and rent, there’s not much left at the end of the day,” Bullion, a janitor for 25 years, said. “We need to make sure working families can make a living, and raising the minimum wage will go a long way towards making that a reality. The janitors, higher education faculty, and public sector workers of SEIU Local 1 thank Mayor Lyda Krewson for implementing this law. We fought long and hard for this victory.”

This is a huge victory for the working families of St. Louis! Read the full story over at The Missouri Times.

 

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VICTORY: St. Louis Minimum Wage Increase

St. Louis PresserAfter an over two-year fight, the minimum wage in St. Louis city rose to $10 on May 5 and will rise to $11 dollars on January 1, 2018. If you work in St. Louis city and make less than $10 an hour, your wages should have gone up to $10 an hour.

It’s the activism of SEIU Local 1 members that pushed St. Louis to raise the wage for working people, and raising the minimum wage is the first step in making our economy better for working families. By keeping our union strong, we make progress together for a brighter future. 

If you have any questions about the minimum wage increase, please call the Member Resource Center at (877) 233-8880, Monday – Friday, between 9am and 5pm. We want to work with you to make sure you can receive the raises you’re owed.

Local 1 janitor Cynthia Sanders spoke with Fox 2 News about how raising the wage will boost our communities. Click here to check it out!

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