Despite pushback from management, East St. Louis Housing Authority workers stood strong to win massive gains in their new contract. Initially, workers, who are vital to the maintenance of properties, were offered just a 2% across-the-board raise. But members stood their ground and refused the offer as presented.
Members felt like their lowest paid coworkers weren’t getting a fair shake in the deal, and wanted bigger increases for them. After fighting back, the workers and the bargaining team were able to secure a deal that gives Maintenance Mechanic I’s and II’s a $2-an-hour increase to their wages retroactive to June 1, while the Maintenance Mechanic III’s receive the initially proposed 2% increase.
For members like Edgar Jones, Maintenance Mechanic III and Union Steward, the victory served as a testament to the workplace unity needed to make progress: “I am very pleased to see such a big step in the right direction. By standing up for ourselves, we convinced the Housing Authority that our request was necessary to ensure we are being offered something that proves our worth.”
SEIU Local 73 represents more than 31,000 workers, primarily in public service and publicly funded positions in school districts, municipalities, social service agencies, and many other job classifications in Illinois and Indiana. Our members keep our buildings and communities safe and clean and our families healthy, they care for our children and our elderly, and keep our cities and states running.