FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2017
Metropolitan Security Officers approve contract agreement for more than 7,000 Chicagoland officers
CHICAGO—Metropolitan Security Officers have negotiated and ratified a new three-year contract that will help families invest in their communities and help in creating a better Chicago. While Chicago’s Metro Security Officers protect high-profile sites like University of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority, United Airlines in the Willis Tower, and Maggie Daley Park, many officers reside in Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods.
“When contractors in Chicago invest in families, our children and our communities benefit,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “By standing together, Metropolitan Security Officers won a great contract that will benefit Chicagoland for years to come.”
The security officers approved a new union contract with important wage increases while also maintaining health care benefits and more.
More than 7,000 working families will benefit from this historical contract. Together, the officers will bring approximately $25 million into their communities over the three year period, pumping much needed resources into our city’s struggling neighborhoods.
“By sticking together, Metro Security Officers won good raises as well as better benefits,” said Maggie Daley Park Security Officer Idris Amao. “This will give us more opportunities to invest in our communities.”
The new three-year Metro Security Officers’ contract, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, guarantees:
SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 property service workers in the Midwest, including security officers, janitors, window washers and residential doormen. Together we work to build strength for all working people, on the job and in our communities.
The “Fight for 15” movement is alive and well in the state of Illinois. SEIU Local 1 Metropolitan Chicago security officers, who secure high-profile sites like the University of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority, United Airlines in the Willis Tower, and Maggie Daley Park, were joined by Second District Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) to kick off their contract campaign to reduce violence and improve safety in the Chicagoland area. The sad truth is that median wage for a Metro security officer is $11.25 an hour, just over $23,000 annually. Officers earn as little as $9.40 an hour, or $19,000 annually. These low wages leave many Metro officers trapped in struggling neighborhoods.
President of SEIU Local 1, Tom Balanoff, says that a higher wage for security pays off in higher dividends to the community in the form of helping working families and keeping communities safer.
Congresswoman Kelly calls it “fighting the right kind of fight.” Her friend and House of Representatives colleagues, the legendary John Lewis, would call this fight “good trouble.” The contract will cover 6,000 Chicagoland security officers across Cook County, many of whom live in our area’s roughest neighborhoods. Congresswoman Kelly says, “That’s a fight for a better contract and for a fair wage for you to take care of your families.”
Security officers at SEIU Local 1 and 32BJ won new union contracts that will bring thousands of officers above $15 and enhance many benefits, including retirement programs, in both cities.
In Chicago, security officers won additional investments in their work and their communities following the deadliest first quarter their city has seen in years.
More than 1,700 working families will benefit from the new downtown contract, which lifts most officers above $15, maintains fully employer-paid health care, and increases pension benefits. Together, the security officers are expected to bring $46 million to their local economies, pumping necessary resources into Chicago’s struggling neighborhoods.
Now downtown officers are supporting 6,800 suburban officers who will bargain a new contract by the end of the year.
After half of 32BJ security officers surveyed in 2016 said they were worried about their personal safety on the job, officers were able to win immediate access to the training program they have developed.
First 1,000 New York officers won a strong agreement to strengthen training, holiday and sick leave provisions. Then 9,000 more officers in the city won 100-percent employer-paid family healthcare for thousands of officers whose families weren’t yet covered, guaranteed paid time off, and their first contributions to a 401(k).
Both New York contracts will raise minimum wages above $15—another important victory in the Fight for $15 and safer cities.
Security guards at Chicago’s downtown buildings have approved and ratified a contract with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).
The deal secures a 9 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, boosts pensions and keeps a 100 percent employer-paid health insurane plan in place.
“When contractors in Chicago do the right thing by creating good jobs and investing in families, our neighborhoods benefit,” said Tom Balanoff, SEIU Local 1 president. “This monumental contract will help boost the communities that need it the most. Our city, our children and the future of Chicago are better because of this agreement.”
Most of the 1,700 security guards covered under the contract will also see their hourly wage hit at least $15. According to SEIU, which represents the security guards, the deal will bring $46 million into some of the city’s most economically-depressed communities, where a majority of the workers live.
On Friday, April 29, 2016, all Security Officers who are in BOMA Buildings and are affected by this wage increase must come to Local 1 office, 111 E. Wacker Ste. 1700, to learn what your hourly rate of pay will be and to vote on your contract.
April 29th Ratification Voting times are as follows:
8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Please come to the SEIU Local 1 Officer at 111 E. Wacker Ste. 1700
Security officers represented by SEIU* Local 1 rallied at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago Tuesday afternoon, kicking off their campaign for better wages and benefits in upcoming contract negotiations.
Some 2,500 security officers who oversee downtown Chicago buildings such as the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center and the Chicago Board of Trade will see their union contract expire April 21. Bargaining with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is set begin next Tuesday, and the officers are calling for a minimum wage of $15.
The starting wage for SEIU-represented security officers is $10.50 an hour, and most make an hourly wage less than $15, according to union officials.
“We want to get all of our members over $15 before this contract’s up,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff, adding that security officers also want their insurance and pensions protected.
Teresa Sanchez, 51, is a security officer at 161 N. Clark St., a stone’s throw away from the Thompson Center.
A security officer for 18 years, Sanchez’s wages are on the higher end of the pay scale. She earns $21.55 an hour.
“We want to get everybody at the same pay level,” she said. “And we want to make sure that security gets the respect that we deserve.”
Balanoff spoke to the important role security officers play when it comes to public safety.
“These workers do a very crucial job, and oftentimes we don’t really think much about it,” Balanoff said. “We all understand this city. We all understand how violent it is. We all understand how much more violent our world has become, and security officers are really the frontline workers, oftentimes, in terrorist situations or fires or other problems. They play a crucial role. A lot of times people don’t understand the crucial role they play until there’s a crisis.”
Chicago Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and Scott Waguespack (32nd) rallied with the workers, who held signs reading, “Good Jobs Strengthen Our Economy.” The aldermen are members of the Progressive Reform Caucus, which has advocated for a $15 minimum wage in the city and other pro-worker measures.
“We understand how difficult it is to do your job,” Sawyer told the security officers. “You are, as stated earlier, the first responders. You’re the ones that put your lives on the line everyday to secure us as we’re traversing through these buildings downtown, and all throughout the city of Chicago, and we respect you and support you in your efforts to have a living wage, adequate benefits, a decent retirement. … We need to let these owners and these multimillionaire and billionaire individuals know that they need to pay you a living wage, a fair wage, and institute a fair contact for all here today.”
Waguespack added, “We’re gonna send a message to BOMA: As long as you’re here, we want to see equal pay. We want to see good pay. We want to see fair wages to the people who are the backbone of this city.”
On January 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., SEIU Local 1 will be holding its New Member Orientation for all Security Officers under US Security Association.
Come out and learn important facts regarding your wages, benefits, contract and meet your union representatives. This is also the time to sign your union card, receive contracts and other materials you will need as a union member.
Come out and learn the facts about being a proud union member of SEIU Local 1.
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at
SEIU Local 1 Office
111 E. Wacker Ste. 2500
Free parking at Millennium Park and Shuttle Service
Please RSVP with Member Resource Center at 312-233-8880