To All SEIU Local 73 Custodians:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Whether to privatize or not privatize is the question the County Board President and the Commissioners will soon be examining. As many of you know, President Preckwinkle announced in March 2012 that she wished to make a choice on this issue through the use of “managed competition”. You have probably heard about this before, because Mayor Emanuel has been using a similar process himself.
An essential part of managed competition, for public employees, is the ability to prove that we still provide the most valuable and efficient services to the County as employees of the County. The County issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to all private contractors offering them the opportunity to bid on our work.
In order to be part of this process, SEIU Local 73 submitted its own bid in an effort to stop attempts to privatize our jobs and prove that Cook County Custodians can do a better job than private contractors. Increasingly, workers at other public sector unions across the United States have participated in managed competition to stop privatization and save good paying union jobs.
On June 29, 2012, our union, SEIU Local 73, submitted a competitive and responsible bid proposal to the Office of the Purchasing Agent of Cook County in regards to custodial services for the Cook County Central District. The Central District is made up of the following buildings:
- Juvenile Temporary Detention Center East & West
- JTDC Garage
- Criminal Courts Building & Administration Building
- CCAB/CCB Garage
- Cook County Building (118 N. Clark)
- Domestic Violence Courthouse
- George W. Dunne Cook County Administration Building (69 W. Washington which is currently cleaned by private contractors)
The next stage in this process is for the Cook County Comptroller to review SEIU Local 73’s bid for accuracy and for the Procurement Officer to make recommendations to the President and the Board on what actions to take.
The ten private sector bids that the county received today will also be evaluated over the next two weeks to make sure they meet prevailing wage and specification requirements. The winning private sector bid will then be compared to our SEIU Local 73 bid by the Managed Competition Review Board, and SEIU
Local 73 will demand that the winning private sector proposal adheres to the specifications of this bid. This Board will make a recommendation to Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, who will then submit a proposal to the Cook County Commissioners, who will vote on any final proposed contract.
What Happens Next and What Role Can You Play
We are extremely proud of our bid and the hard work we put into it. We will keep members informed during this process. It is critical that ALL OF OUR MEMBERS play a role in this process.
Additionally, we believe our bid proposal provides the County with the goals that they want to achieve, while maintaining a decent standard of wages and benefits. We will be lobbying and meeting with County officials in the coming weeks.
- We will be asking you to join us as we begin to talk to the Cook County President and Commissioners regarding our jobs.
- We strongly encourage members to continue getting letters signed and continue to do the hard work that you have performed for many years.
- We need each of you to contact YOUR commissioner and argue for keeping our work with us.
This is not over. We remain confident that we will be able to convince the county that the work and service you provide is valuable.
We will be visiting worksites over the next few weeks and will be hosting a union meeting this month to give updates, answer questions and involve members in this fight back against privatization.
Feel free to email or call contact myself, Betty Boles, Dale Jackson or Dan Boris with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are stronger together for justice in our jobs. As many of you know, we have fought this fight before and won. We can win again, if we stand united. Please call with any questions and concerns you have to 312-588-7578.
Yours in Strength & Unity,
Christine Boardman, President