More than six months into Chicago Park District contract negotiations, Park District leaders continue to refuse to fund a living wage, healthcare, and security for workers, even with the $9.6 million windfall from last year’s Lollapalooza annual music festival.
“Two-thirds of the 2,200 year-round workers we represent are working part-time with no health insurance and living wage,” said SEIU Local 73 Executive Vice President Jeffrey Howard. “The CEO and Park District Board have refused our proposals to ensure these essential workers who provide a vital service to our communities have full-time jobs where they can afford to continue living in Chicago.”
Many Park District workers work alone, late at night in unlocked park buildings with no security. Park District leaders have rejected union proposals to keep workers and patrons safe, including hiring civilian security.
“Park district workers provide vital services for millions of residents and visitors annually, from programs for children and seniors, fitness programs, special recreation, summer camps, and teen violence prevention programs. The revenue from Lollapalooza should go to park services and the workers who provide them. Park district workers deserve to be respected, protected, and paid for their service,” said Howard.
Contract bargaining is scheduled for Jan. 16.