CHICAGO -- The Chicago Teachers Union, along with members of the "Fight For 15" campaign, are calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Board of Education to institute a $15 an hour minimum wage for all Chicago Public School employees, included subcontracted workers at city schools.
They gathered today across the street from CPS headquarters, 42 West Madison Street, along with union janitor workers, asking for the wage increase.
The Teachers Union is also asking for $15 an hour for parent workers who stand along "Safe Passage" routes in the city -- an important job, they say, after the closing of 50 neighborhood schools resulting in many students having a longer walk.
The "Fight For 15" group says nearly 40 percent of workers in Chicago earn less than $15 an hour, something they feel needs to change.
Union janitors with the Service Employees International Union are also asking for what they describe as decent wages and benefits, and to reinstate part-time janitors to full-time work.
CPS contracts with "Aramark", and in October the company laid off nearly 300 janitors and made another 200 janitors part-time.
There are 1,400 janitors who work in Chicago public schools, and their contract expires on April 5. Contract negotiations started earlier this month. The janitors say time is of the essence.
Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was also at the rally, announcing his support of a $15 minimum wage for all CPS employees.
Coming up on April 15 -- a national day of action, when CTU members, along with fast food workers, will rally demanding $15 an hour.