The Cook County bargaining committee held its fourth negotiation session with the County. The elected officials and County management representatives threatened to walk out on Countywide negotiations and limit all bargaining to local units. The bargaining committee held firm and demanded Federal mediation to put a stop to their fake outrage.
The agenda was straightforward:
- Define seniority as the date of initial hire within the County. Whether a member is forced to leave a position due to layoff or department closing or applies for a different job, they should carry their seniority with them – not leave it behind and start over. The County had no response.
- All workers are provided a copy of their current job description, including the scope of work and expectations. The County had no response.
- Protections for all members during the pandemic including:
- Adequate personal equipment (PPE). If adequate PPE is not provided, members may refuse assignment.
- Accommodations for members at-risk due to personal health. If no accommodations paid leave to be provided.
- Hazard pay for members working on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Additional paid leave for members who contract COVID-19.
- Worker’s compensation for members who contract COVID-19.
- Provide all members a weekly report of supply and distribution of PPE.
The County had no response.
The committee’s next bargaining session, with the Offices under the County President, is on Friday, October 30. The next County-wide negotiations are November 10.
The negotiations for Cook County Health, scheduled for this Friday, have been canceled. Both sides have agreed to bargain all four CCH units at the same time. This is a win for SEIU Local 73 as the committee will be able to negotiate for all 1,600+ workers at CCH as a whole.
The County management is not interested in protecting frontline workers while the pandemic worsens. They like calling workers heroes in the press and treating them like zeroes on the job. Together, workers will show them enough is enough!
Join SEIU Local 73 and Cook County workers this Thursday, October 29, 3:30 pm, outside Stroger Hospital (corner of Damen and Ogden) for rally for dignity, respect and justice! Workers will not sit idly by while families are torn apart and essential workers continue to be ignored by the county during the pandemic. The time for unity of purpose and action is now!
Cook County Bargaining Committee