CHICAGO — The Chicago Park District employees reached a contract agreement Wednesday.
The deal was reached one day before workers were planning to walk out in solidarity with the Chicago Teachers Union and public school support staff.
“After more than 12 hours of negotiations, the District and union reached a deal late Tuesday evening that includes wage increases for hourly and monthly employees, healthcare concerns and lays a foundation to reform the District’s failing pension fund,” the park district said in a statement.
The park district said its facilities will be open regular hours Thursday and drop-in activities will be offered Thursday and Friday “to assist families during the CPS work stoppage.”
Details on the contract are as follows:
Terms of the agreement with the SEIU include wage increases that range from 10% to 28% over the four and a half year deal. For the first time ever, the District will provide paid vacation to hourly employees based on the number of hours worked. In addition, SEIU Local 73 members have agreed to pay an additional 1.5% over the next three years toward their healthcare costs. Beginning in 2023, through these increases, employees will be collectively responsible for 15% of the Chicago Park District’s total health care costs, which will be formulated as a percentage of salary. The Chicago Park District’s other 24 unions have also agreed to the healthcare contribution increases.
The park district’s union employees have been working without a contract since 2018. A strike would have been the first in Park District history.