The Crusader Newspaper Group

CPS workers rally outside City Club event

Chicago Public Schools support staff, represented by SEIU Local 73, recently rallied outside the City Club of Chicago event in downtown Chicago recently flyering guests attending the luncheon at Maggiano’s in Little Italy. CEO Pedro Martinez was speaking at the event on “The Economic Ripple of Learning Loss and its Impact on Chicago’s Future.”

Rather than face CPS workers, Martinez chose to enter through the kitchen entrance in the alley behind the restaurant.

“We’re here today to ask why CEO Martinez isn’t working to support us? We don’t get paid for holiday breaks making it difficult for us to live and work in Chicago,” said Corliss Cummings, CPS Crossing Guard. “We need to make sure we are creating a safe environment for the students and the staff. That starts with paying workers a fair wage to help fill vacancies and retain valuable staff. But instead of coming to the bargaining table or talking with us here, he chose to sneak inside through the back-alley entrance. Why is CEO Martinez hiding from us?”

Over 11,000 CPS support staff have worked without a contract since June 2023 and have not received a raise since July 1, 2022, despite record inflation. Local 73 presented its economic proposals in December, and yet CPS CEO Martinez has flatly refused to meet or discuss economics until March.

CPS support staff, which include Special Education Classroom Assistants, Custodians, Crossing Guards, Bus Aides, Security Officers, and Parent Workers, are negotiating for a fair contract that meets the needs of workers and communities alike, 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

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