MILWAUKEE – On Equal Pay Day, dozens of labor and community allies, including Alderwoman Chantia Lewis (9th District) and Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mahlon Mitchell, rallied outside Milwaukee City Hall in support of pay equality and to welcome local security officers into their union, SEIU Local 1.
Over the past year, Milwaukee security officers who protect City Hall, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Schlitz Park, the county transit system and many other public and private buildings across the city have been fighting for higher wages, better benefits and a safer Milwaukee for all of its residents.
“Having a union means we now have a fair shot at a good future for ourselves and our families,” said Antonisha Malone, a security officer at the US Bank Center. “We now have a strong, collective voice on the job that will allow us to improve our economic security and negotiate for things like fair scheduling, paid time off, parental leave and other improvements.”
Despite anti-worker state policies and President Trump’s efforts to weaken workplace protections for women, the nearly 300 security officers who work for the region’s leading contractors, including Allied Universal, G4S, Prudential Security and Securitas, have now won their union with SEIU Local 1. They are expected to begin bargaining their historic contract this summer.
A strong union contract with good raises and better benefits will help Milwaukee working families make ends meet while ensuring that working people have a voice on the job to protect themselves from pay disparity and other forms of discrimination.
“We’re rising up on Equal Pay Day, because we know that a strong union contract guarantees equal pay for equal work,” Malone said.
Alderwoman Lewis and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mitchell also stood with the union members in support of pay equity.
“Because women still earn less than men, unions are making sure that the wage gap is closed,” Lewis said. “I stand with you proudly, and I understand that it is our responsibility to support policies that help working families.”
“The gender pay gap is an embarrassing reality that is perpetuated in Wisconsin by the low-wage economy that Scott Walker built,” Mitchell said. “From rectifying the gender and racial wage gaps to raising wages for working families – people coming together, like in unions, is the way to build an economy that works for all of us.”
On February 25th, SEIU Local 1 members in Milwaukee joined American Security officers as they rallied outside the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show on opening day. Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski of the 14th District and Alderman Jose Perez of the 12th District joined as they called on the Wisconsin Center District to support good jobs in Milwaukee, hold American Security accountable, and consider terminating American Security’s contract. While American Security officers ensure that the Wisconsin Center and the Auto Show are safe, many struggle to make ends meet.
“Everyday, I fight to help move Milwaukee forward. That means supporting good-paying jobs. We need responsible companies in Milwaukee who share that vision, not irresponsible contractors like American Security,” Alderman Zielinski of the 14th District said. “I call on the Wisconsin Center District to hold American Security accountable and consider terminating their contract with this company. ”
The officers who work for American Security – the contractor the Wisconsin Center District uses – are fighting for a voice on the job. As an economic engine for the city, the Wisconsin Center has a responsibility to create quality jobs.
“While thousands flock to the Wisconsin Center for the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show, many of the American Security officers who keep participants safe and secure struggle to make ends meet,” American Security Officer Emergy Hays said. “We’re not asking for a fancy car like the ones in the Auto Show. We’re asking for a real living wage and a voice on the job!”
Milwaukee workers linked Milwaukee’s struggle for healthy economic development with American Security’s choice to not create quality jobs. They called on the Wisconsin Center District to hold American Security accountable in creating good jobs that provide decent wages, quality benefits, as well as a voice on the job, which will then, in turn, contribute to the prosperity of Milwaukee’s neediest communities.
MILWAUKEE — A rally was held to support the creation of good jobs in Milwaukee on Saturday, February 25th. Two city aldermen joined community supporters for the rally outside of the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show.
On the show’s opening day, the rally aims to hold American Security responsible for a lack of support for the security officers they employ.
They’re asking for more support of jobs with better pay and benefits.
MILWAUKEE–By an overwhelming margin, SEIU Local 1 janitors in Milwaukee approved a new union contract increasing their ability to support their families and providing a more accessible benefits package. This contract covers 350 janitors in downtown Milwaukee and is the first three-year agreement to be approved since 2009.
“These economic gains will directly benefit our region’s economy for years to come, helping hardworking families build a better Milwaukee for generations,” said SEIU Local 1 Wisconsin Coordinator Dave Somerscales. “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 contract, which went into effect on August 1, guaranteeswage increases over the life of the contract. A key negotiations goal for the janitors was to ensure that their employers agree to yearly increases toward the provided health insurance.
“This is a huge victory for Milwaukee,” said SEIU Local 1 member employed by Modern Maintenance Maria Sada. “This will be the first time since 2009 that we won a three-year contract with raises and benefits improving each year over the life of the agreement. By standing together and working with our employers, we have created the kind of jobs that will benefit all of Milwaukee.”
“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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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.
Janitors have been fighting to raise standards in property services throughout Milwaukee for more than a decade. During that time, SEIU Local 1 members rallied in the streets, traveled and lobbied the State Capitol in Madison, stood with striking fast food workers, and have even risked their jobs and their livelihood standing side-by-side with security officers attempting to form a union.
Nearly one year ago, the janitors’ union wrote and proposed a Responsible Bidder’s Ordinance to the Milwaukee City Council. Allies along with Aldermen Tony Zielinski and Nik Kovac co-sponsored the ordinance and championed the janitors’ cause.
Last week, Milwaukee’s Responsible Bidder Ordinance was passed by a unanimous 14-0 vote by the Milwaukee City Council and signed into law by Mayor Tom Barrett. The ordinance will empower the city to ensure that no irresponsible contractors get city tax dollars to perform janitorial services – preventing irresponsible contractors from winning public work without making operational changes. The law will also cover the security and food service industries, solidifying responsible public contracting in those sectors as well.
The unanimous passing of this Responsible Bidder’s Ordinance illustrates how fostering strong relationships with elected officials will help lift the entire city of Milwaukee with good jobs.
Unions help working families fulfill their dreams in many ways. At SEIU Local 1, this includes yearly college scholarship opportunities. These scholarships enable SEIU Local 1 members and their children to pursue their education goals at colleges, universities, labor study programs and technical schools.
Make sure to research the following opportunities for SEIU Local 1 members and your children – the deadlines for applications are coming up!