Over 150 SEIU Local 73 CPS members attended negotiations on Monday October 29th. Members made their voices heard on issues around short-staffing, low pay, and disrespect. It sent a message, not only to the CPS Board, but to each other that we are getting organized and willing to do whatever it takes to win our contract.
While we made some progress on boilerplate language issues, it is clear that there is a wide divide on our most important goals in negotiations:
- No more cuts in pay and benefits
- Pay increases that respect our work
- Restore the cuts from the past – those were a loan and not a gift to the district, it is time to pay us back for what was taken
- Stop using evaluations as a tool to fire or threaten workers
- Better staffing so we provide our students the service they deserve and we’re not pulled all of the time
- A fair system of transfers to other work locations for school-based workers as well as offering hours on the basis of seniority to bus aides
In the negotiations, the School Board wants to preserve the language that says we understand they are operating under fiscal constraints – that they don’t have enough money. We refused to agree because we believe that they are operating under moral and political constraints. They have money for what they think is important, just not for us and our families. They are making a moral and political choice not to value our work. When it comes to our needs, they are ‘broke on purpose.’
What can you do?
- Every SEIU Local 73 member needs to sign the Open letter to Mayoral and Aldermanic Candidates being circulated at your work site to be delivered as the city election campaign heats up.
- Members need to attend the next negotiations. We will email and text when and where the next negotiations will be.
Every member must become a union leader and organizer in their school or in their bus barn until we win our contract.
When we fight, we win!