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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:51pm
Wed Mar 25

Garcia, CTU Call For $15 Minimum Wage For CPS Employees (VIDEO)

Chicago Mayoral challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia joined the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) on Wednesday in demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage for all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) employees, including subcontracted workers.

Garcia and CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey made the call for a "living wage" for CPS employees at a press conference held ahead of the Chicago Board of Education's monthly meeting.

Safe Passage workers, who guard routes students take while traveling to and from school, are among those who would be impacted if CPS lifted its hourly minimum wage to $15 for all employees.

Sharkey said "there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Safe Passage workers" who currently earn less than $15 an hour.

"I stand with CTU today because what they are pressing for is an increase in the living wage," said Garcia, who is endorsed by the teachers' union in Chicago's mayoral race. "It is essential to have more stable families. They are critical providers of front-line services, caring for our children, ensuring greater community stability. I stand with them because it is good for Chicago and for a more promising Chicago for all workers in the city."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:47pm
Thu Jan 15

SEIU Local 1 Launches Janitorial Contract Campaign On MLK's Birthday (VIDEO)

Chicago janitors represented by SEIU* Local 1 took to the streets Thursday morning as they began gearing up for pending contract negotiations.

SEIU Local 1 leaders and dozens of Chicago custodians from institutional and commercial services kicked off their 2015 janitorial contract campaign on the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Their contracts are set to expire in April.

The unionized janitors, including many who clean Chicago Public Schools (CPS) buildings, rolled out their campaign calling for better wages and benefits outside of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, 4445 S. Drexel Boulevard.

"Of course, Martin Luther King, he stood for many things, but people fail to realize he died supporting the sanitation strike in Memphis, supporting sanitation workers who were being treated unfair," said Lonnell Saffold, director of institutional services for SEIU Local 1. "We believe that it's only right we be here to commemorate him and realize that his struggle is not going to die."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:16pm
Wed Dec 10, 2014

Chicago City Council Approves Taxi 'Fairness' Ordinance, Delays E15 Plan

Progress Illinois provides highlights from the last Chicago City Council meeting of 2014.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:45pm
Fri Nov 21, 2014

School Custodians Rally For Higher Wages, Paid Sick Leave (VIDEO)

Low-wage school custodians from Elgin, Wheaton, Rockford and other areas picketed outside of the Illinois Association of School Boards conference in Chicago Friday morning, demanding paid holiday and sick days.

Chanting "Hey, District U46. Your low wages make us sick," the custodians, hired by school district contractors and represented by SEIU* Local 1, also called for better pay and health benefits.

"We want to show (school board officials) that we're not happy with what they pay to our custodians," Carolina Villalobos, an SEIU Local 1 organizer, said outside of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, where the conference was held.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Tue Nov 12, 2013

Report: Pay Gap Between Top Administrators, Workers Skyrockets At University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

A new report shows that the pay gap between top University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) administrators and the school's clerical and technical staff have worsened over recent years to the point where many employees have trouble supporting their families and affording basic needs. 

AFSCME Council 31, which represents frontline University of Illinois employees, issued the “University of Inequality?” report Monday, which found that 68 full-time UIUC workers currently make less than $23,550, which is the poverty threshold for a family of four. Meanwhile, the university’s 50 highest-paid employees are set to rake in an average salary of $397,141 each this year, which is a 25 percent increase in average top earnings compared to 2010.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:46pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Workers, Aldermen Want Emanuel To Push Controversial O'Hare Contractor To Recognize Janitors' Desire For SEIU Representation (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

After more than 70 percent of O’Hare’s recently hired janitors voted in favor of SEIU* Local 1 union representation, a small group of workers gathered with supporting aldermen at City Hall Tuesday to urge Mayor Rahm Emanuel to push the contractor to recognize the union.

“In a climate where everybody is trying to figure out how to squeeze the bottom line, the only way to protect workers is to have union representation,” said Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) in an interview with Progress Illinois.

Munoz said contractors, such as the O’Hare janitors’ employer, United Maintenance, Inc., are “squeezing wages.”

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