SEIU Local 73 Cook County Members Demand Preckwinkle, Board Take Action

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At the Board of Commissioners meeting on April 7, 2022, Cook County workers stepped up to demand Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners move forward with the already agreed to pandemic pay and bonuses while we await a ruling on remaining issues in arbitration. SEIU Local 73 has repeatedly approached Preckwinkle’s team about entering into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will allow for the distribution of the $3,000 to all SEIU Local 73 members. They continually refuse to move forward prior to a ruling by the arbitrator, making the false claim that they do not have the legal authority to enter into a MOA on those already agreed to funds. It is entirely within President Preckwinkle’s authority to bring a MOA before the Cook County Board.

“I have been coming to work faithfully for over 29 years,” said Sylvia Kizer, a Building Service Worker, in her testimony to the County Board. “I have never been treated with so much disrespect and lack of understanding as I have [the past few years].”

Juanita Ervin, Health Advocate, echoed the sentiments. “We are beginning to feel like the County does not care about us […] We are being made a joke out of.”

Instead of treating workers with dignity in an increasingly expensive environment, Cook County has alienated these essential workers further by hiring non-union agency workers. These non-union workers are being paid significantly more than their union counterparts for the same work and often with less expertise. Local 73 members are fed up with the disrespect, particularly from President Preckwinkle.

“I’ve witnessed how power [can] change people,” said Building Service Worker Marvin Robinson. “I ask the President and the Commissioners to look into their heart, and take care of the people who put them in the positions they are in.”

All public comments from SEIU Local 73 members at Thursday’s meeting can be seen below.