CPS Agrees to Hire More Custodians and Reevaluate Conditions Quarterly, Hold Contractors Accountable
CHICAGO – More than 1,700 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) custodians reached a historic agreement Thursday with CPS. For the first time in history, CPS custodians have a say in their working conditions and school cleanliness. Historically, CPS adopts the standards set forth by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). This year, additional demands of higher staffing were made with CPS cleaning contractors.
After cleaning contractors refused to guarantee custodians the resources to keep schools clean and healthy for students and teachers causing bargaining to break down, CPS stepped in to have productive conversations around the contract, ultimately agreeing to hire more custodians and to hold cleaning contractors accountable.
“Over the last few years, CPS cleaning contractors like Aramark have continued to cut corners to increase their bottom line, while custodians have been working harder and harder with less,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “We appreciate the intervention of CPS and look forward to a strong new partnership in, which schools are clean and healthy places for students to learn, grow and thrive.”
CPS will hire an additional 200 custodians to deep clean schools over the 2018 summer break and hire an additional 100 full-time employees following that period. CPS has also agreed to meet with Local 1 custodians on a quarterly basis to assess school conditions and ensure standards are being met.
The 1,700 CPS custodians plan to meet Saturday morning to discuss the latest BOMA and CPS contract updates.
Candidates Will Fight for the Working Families of Illinois
CHICAGO – On behalf of the 150,000 janitors, security officers, health care and home care workers, public employees and more, the SEIU Illinois State Council proudly supported its endorsed candidates both financially and with an enthusiastic grassroots effort. Hundreds of SEIU members knocked on more than 40,000 doors and made thousands of calls. More than 200,000 pieces of literature were sent to communicate with voters and nearly $500,000 was donated in direct contributions to the endorsed candidates. In addition, thousands of text messages and live calls were used to turn out SEIU members for the endorsed candidates.
The following statement is from SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff:
“The SEIU Illinois State Council is proud to stand with and congratulate our winning endorsed candidates in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.
“These candidates will best represent the interests and values of working families in our great state by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, higher wages for all and affordable health care.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with them in the fight for economic, immigrant, racial and environmental justice.”
The victorious SEIU-endorsed candidates include:
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Illinois 4th Congressional District
Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General
Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board President
Karen Yarbrough for Cook County Clerk
Cook County Board of Commissioners
Brandon Johnson, 1st District
Dennis Deer, 2nd District
Bill Lowry, 3rd District
Stanley Moore, 4th District
Deborah Sims, 5th District
Donna Miller, 6th District
Luis Arroyo Jr., 8th District
Bridget Degnen, 12th District
Larry Suffredin, 13th District
Ram Villivalam, 8th District
Iris Martinez, 20th District
Ann Gillespie, 27th District
Theresa Mah, 2nd District
Delia Ramirez, 4th District
Lamont Robinson Jr., 5th District
Sonya Harper, 6th District
Kelly Cassidy, 14th District
Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, 17th District
Robert Martwick, 19th District
Lisa Hernandez, 24th District
Justin Slaughter, 27th District
Robert “Bob” Rita, 28th District
Thaddeus Jones, 29th District
William “Will” Davis, 30th District
Mary Flowers, 31st District
Lance Yednock, 76th District
Natalie Manley, 98th District
Marsha Griffin, 115th District
CHICAGO — On Wednesday, March 21, Chicago Public School (CPS) custodians, holding mops and bottles of iconic cleaning product Fabuloso, rallied for fabulous and clean schools outside Wednesday’s CPS Board meeting. Custodians both inside and outside the board meeting urged CPS to support the 2,000 hardworking custodians who are currently in contract negotiations with contractors Aramark, RJB, Gerelex and more.
“Too many CPS custodians do not receive the proper staffing or supplies we need to keep schools healthy and clean for students and teachers,” said SEIU Local 1 Custodian Maxine Gladney. “It’s time contractors start valuing our work and offering us the resources we need to do our jobs.”
Without guarantees of proper staffing levels or supplies, many CPS custodians struggle to keep schools as clean and healthy as possible. Many custodians buy supplies like Fabuloso with money out of their own pockets because they are deeply dedicated to their schools and students. Custodians are also fighting for a dignified wage that reflects the valuable work they do as well as more sick days to prevent illness from spreading in schools.
These issues can be addressed with a strong new contract that guarantees proper staffing, supplies, sick days and a dignified wage for CPS custodians. The current contract for custodians expires on April 8. Custodians urged the CPS Board to stand with them as they bargain with contractors for cleaner schools and a better future for their communities.
Degnen is a progressive champion who will fight for Cook County’s working families
“Today, voters across Cook County’s 12th District elected Bridget Degnen to represent them full-time on the Cook County Board in 2019.
“The janitors, home care and health care providers, adjunct faculty, security officers and doorstaff of SEIU are proud to stand with a woman who will be a strong voice for Cook County’s working families.
“Degnen is a champion for women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, workers and the environment. She will fight for a $15 minimum wage and to expand affordable healthcare access.
“Degnen’s election represents a new direction for the 12th District and a significant win for the working people of Cook County. We look forward to working alongside Degnen to stand up for public services and policies that put working people ahead of corporate special interests.”
Garcia will be a strong leader in Congress for the working families of Illinois
“The SEIU Illinois State Council—which represents 150,000 janitors, home and health care workers, higher education faculty, security officers, doorstaff, public employees and others— congratulates Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia on his victory in Illinois’ 4th Congressional District.
“Garcia is the progressive champion we need in Congress to stand up for all Americans and against the Trump Administration’s dangerous attacks on workers, women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and the environment.
“From his commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15 to expanding affordable healthcare access and protecting immigrant families, Garcia will be a strong ally in Congress for the working families of Illinois. We look forward to working alongside him on these critical issues.”
On International Women’s Day, hundreds of Local 1 women janitors and custodians who clean our Chicagoland offices, schools and public buildings rallied with their allies as #WomenRise for good jobs and a strong new contract!
Local 1’s women members kicked off their contract campaign on behalf of 12,000 Chicago-area janitors, 70 percent of whom are women.
It was a great event and an empowering day! Women rise! ¡Mujeres guerreras! Silne kobiety!
Check out some of the fantastic media coverage from the event: