CHICAGO, IL (STL.News) Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Board of Education announced a tentative agreement for a five-year contract with SEIU Local 73. SEIU Local 73 represents approximately 7,500 special education classroom assistants (SECAs), bus aides, custodians and security officers who work at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
“The SEIU Local 73 members who work in our Chicago Public Schools are critical to our school operations, ensuring both our students and staff receive the support they need to achieve ever greater academic success,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am very pleased we were able to work together to agree on a strong, fair deal that will provide substantial raises and real improvements to working environments, and I commend negotiators on both sides for their tireless effort.”
Highlights from the terms of the tentative agreement between the Chicago Board of Education and SEIU Local 73 include a minimum 16% raise over five years for all employees, and additional, substantial pay increases for SECAs, bus aides and custodians. The agreement specifies no changes to the health insurance plan for five years, including no increases to co-pays, deductibles, plan choices or out-of-pocket costs, with only modest increases in employee contributions.
In addition to these benefits, the tentative agreement includes multiple improvements to working conditions for SEIU members. For example, employees will be able to carry over up to 40 days of unused sick leave for use for future absences.
“SEIU Local 73 members represent essential school staff who are embedded in the fabric of school communities across the City of Chicago,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We are thrilled to come to an agreement that provides these essential school staff members with the robust compensation increases and benefits they deserve.”
The contract will go into effect once both the members of the Chicago Board of Education and SEIU Local 73 ratify the tentative agreement.