Cook County Housing Authority Members Vote to Ratify Their New Contracts


On Tuesday, November 16, Cook County Housing Authority (HACC) workers gathered in a boardroom to vote on their new contract. Administration/Clerical and Maintenance units listened to spirited words from their colleagues before filling out their ballots. After stewards counted the votes, the Maintenance unit saw an overwhelming vote of approval of their contract and the Admin/Clerical unit saw a unanimous approval on theirs, sealing a massive victory for all HACC members.

“We’re proud of the work the bargaining committee did at the table. We saw wins in pay, longevity and health insurance. But even though we won here, the fight to protect worker rights still goes on,” says Crystal Jones, Housing Specialist and Local 73 Steward.

The new contract addresses much-needed pay increases, longevity, healthcare and more. This includes a pay increase of 10% over the next four years with full retroactivity from the start of the contract. In addition, longevity pay will be added to base pay in every paycheck moving forward for those with 15+ years of service. The new contract also ensures that employees will now be eligible for health insurance on the first of the month after an employee’s start date and are entitled to reimbursement for up to $500 of costs when vacations are canceled by management. Lastly, Juneteenth was added as a holiday for HACC workers.

Specific to Maintenance

  • Under the new contract, maintenance  workers will be paid out annually for vacation over 120 hours
  • Starting rates increased by $1/hour
  • Cycle Painting: Management has agreed to address cycle painting in labor-management meetings and to work with members on setting standards.

Specific to Admin/Clerical

  • Merit pay is suspended for the life of the contract in exchange for other wage increases.
  • Management has committed to process the retroactive payments and make the pay increases by the end of the year.

“It is crucial that in these times workers stick together, because there is a war on workers,” said Executive Vice President Jeff Howard. “Workers are starting to stand up, rise up and fight back, and as we’ve seen today, here at the HACC, too.”