Waukegan Custodial and Maintenance Workers Make Big Contract Gains

Waukegan Public Schools District #60 Custodial and Maintenance workers, represented by SEIU Local 73, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new five-year contract on August 4. Members were allowed to vote during working hours, a first in the unit’s twenty-year history resulting from many lengthy conversations at the table that resulted in administrative concessions not seen in several previous contracts.

“I’m proud of the contract we fought for and won,” veteran electrician and Chief Steward Dave Sims said. “We have a strong membership with a lot of unity, which is why we got such a good deal.”

The negotiating team’s four months of bargaining were well spent. Chief Steward Dave Sims and Stewards Mick Garrity, Brian Cross, Ty Nelson, and Dave “Cupcake” Minnoch worked together to represent their fellow workers and bring the best possible deal to the membership. 

Photo of Chief Steward Dave Sims

Some of the highlights of the new five-year agreement include:

  • A 5% wage increase in the first year, retroactive to July 1, 2023, and a one-time compensation check, and a 4% wage increase in 2024/2025.
  • Three years of “Me Too” wage increases, wherein Custodians, Maintenance employees, and District bus drivers will receive the same increases as the administration.
  • Two new paid holidays: Juneteenth and Election Day. 
  • Tuition reimbursement for training and education relevant to District needs.
  • A new “Union Business” section was added to protect Union stewards when conducting Union business and representing rank-and-file members.
  • Two “missed punches” are forgiven each year. Historically, every missed punch resulted in a written warning.
  • Custodians, head custodians, utilities, and warehouse workers who fill in at a higher-rated position for one hour or more will get a higher pay rate.