After crossing guards received text messages on Wednesday morning, telling them to report for their morning and afternoon shifts, SEIU Local 73 took action to demand that the City of Chicago follow past practice and relieve crossing guards from reporting for duty in the afternoon.
The order to report for both morning and afternoon shifts was in direct violation of a more than 30 year practice where crossing guards only have to report for the first shift for school closings.
“Crossing guards take protecting the children and community of Chicago very seriously. They are personally invested in the lives of the people they serve and the City must be invested in the safety and well-being of crossing guards. Local 73 members braved the extreme cold conditions this morning and there was no reason for the City of Chicago to force them to work in the afternoon,” Jeffrey Howard, Executive Vice President of SEIU Local 73.
Howard personally intervened to demand that the City inform guards that they do not have to report for the afternoon shift as previously practiced. Any changes to established practice must be negotiated with the union before implementation.
After direct intervention by the union, the City agreed that crossing guards did not have to report for duty in the afternoon.