Chicago Public Schools Support Staff Reach Historic Contract Agreement on May Day


After nearly one year of bargaining, the Chicago Public Schools support staff, represented by SEIU Local 73, have reached a tentative agreement on May Day!

Over 11,000 CPS support staff, which include Special Education Classroom Assistants, Custodians, Crossing Guards, Bus Aides, Security Officers, and Parent Workers, have been fighting for a fair contract since last May.

“We are proud to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement which meets the needs of workers and communities alike,” said Dian Palmer, President of SEIU Local 73. “This contract will greatly improve the lives of these essential workers and provide the respect they deserve.”

The new contract secured gains in every single one of our priority issues including:

  • Job security with respect for seniority and due process
  • Provide student services by respecting staff’s job duties
  • Fair pay with COLA and longevity increases
  • Equitable pay over breaks
  • Clean and safe schools
  • City wide orientations and trainings with union access

“I am overjoyed a what we have won in this new contract,” said Veronica Heard, Lead Custodian for 19 years. “This is a great victory for so many of our members who have waited so long to be treated with dignity and respect.”

“It’s been a long road but we finally have achieved a contract with which we will all be happy and we all deserve,” said Alfred Rodriguez, Special Education Classroom Assistant for 20 years. “My thanks go to our bargaining team, President Dian Palmer, and Local 73 staff.”

Among the improvements the members will be voting on include improved pay starting with an 4% retro pay and a 4% increase to everyone’s pay on July 1, 2024; bilingual pay for any certified staff member; eight hours for security officers; six-hour minimum day for bus aides; crossing guard benefits enshrined in the new contract; protection from sub-contracting custodial jobs; ability to take three additional religious holidays; and a “me too” clause guaranteeing a wage match on any potential wage increases under the pending CTU contract.

“This process had its ups and downs, but I’m happy with where we arrived,” said Mark Patton, Central Office Security Officer. “Knowing that wages are improving for all support staff at CPS takes a weight off our shoulders. Our ability to provide for our families will improve greatly as a result of the contract we negotiated.”

The agreement will now go before the membership for a ratification vote.