SEIU Local 73 Members Demand a Fair Contract in Petition Delivered to the CPS Board

CPS Petition

On Thursday morning, SEIU Local 73, the union that represents support staff throughout the Chicago Public Schools system, presented the signatures of thousands of members to the Chicago Board of Education, as they demand a fair contract. The union is currently in negotiations with CPS, with the most recent contract having expired in June 2023.

“We have been at the bargaining table since the end of May 2023, but despite numerous requests by us, it has been difficult to get full-day sessions,” said Stacia Scott Kennedy, Executive Vice President at SEIU Local 73. “CPS has struggled to counter with meaningful proposals that gets us toward our collective goals.”

Executive Vice President Stacia Scott’s comments to the CPS Board.

The union, which represents over 11,000 members throughout CPS, including Bus Aides, Special Education Classroom Assistants (SECA), Crossing Guards, Custodians, Security and more, believes the school district can do more to give workers a wage that reflects their hard work and the increasing pressures of Chicago’s rising cost of living. As the board mulls over balancing a budget with a $300 million shortfall, members fear they will be asked to once again bail out CPS by giving back their wage increases.

“If CPS decides to balance its budget on the backs of some its lowest paid workers, 64% of which are women and 88% of which are black and brown, it’ll showcase how little they care about us,” says Citlali Soto, Security Officer, who has 20 years of service in CPS.

SEIU Local 73 wants to see CPS give union members a contract that respects their time and resources. Among a myriad of issues, the union reported that SECAs are still being pulled in to teach despite the language of that action being unclear in the contract, that transportation workers are facing critical logistical issues, and that safety and security workers are having additional duties added without the help of additional staffing.

“We are united to fight for clean, safe and supported schools,” said Scott Kennedy. “The support staff of CPS are long overdue for a contract that gives them dignity and respect.”

The next bargaining table session is set for December 20.