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

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

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.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:06pm
Wed Apr 10, 2013

Unions Unite, Issue Joint Report Against School Closings

Members and leaders of three unions representing workers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system criticized the city’s recent round of school actions in a joint report issued Tuesday, saying school closings hurt children, struggling neighborhoods, and working families.

They’ve called on the Chicago Board of Education, CPS and Mayor Rahm Emanuel not to close any schools.

“Strong schools are supposed to create strong neighborhoods,” said SEIU* Local 1 spokeswoman Izabela Miltko. “We all believe that Chicago needs to protect and invest in its children and not tear apart communities, tear apart schools.”

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:26pm
Tue Jan 29, 2013

Sani Seats At O'Hare Making Waves For Lack Of Cleanliness

The new Sani Seats being used by controversial city contractor United Maintenance Inc. are making headlines for their alleged lack of cleanliness.

After receiving a tip from a reader about the inefficiency of the SaniSeats, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopoulous wrote about a reporter's experience after they trekked down to O'Hare to do their own check on the cleanliness of the toilet system, which is meant to keep toilets clean by using a rotating wrapper on the seats for each new user.  

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
7:24pm
Tue Jan 15, 2013

Amid New Company Ownership Revelations, SEIU Calls On Emanuel To Rebid O'Hare Janitorial Contract (VIDEO)

One day after reports surfaced that the owner of a custodial firm failed to disclose that he sold half his stake in the company prior to winning a $99 million city contract, members of SEIU*, which represents former janitors at O'Hare Airport, are calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to void the deal that resulted in the laying off of more than 300 workers last month.

At a press conference held Tuesday outside of Emanuel’s city hall office, SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff said a recent report in the Chicago Sun-Times regarding United Maintenance Co. Inc., owner Richard Simon showed that he “knowingly violated” city requirements by not fully disclosing the company’s ownership status until after it had won the bid to provide janitorial services at O’Hare Airport. 

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