SEIU Local 73 reaches agreement with Cook County to end 18-day strike

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Striking Cook County workers return to work as SEIU says it has agreement
The SEIU Local 73 union says it has reached a tentative agreement to return to work.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A strike by thousands of Cook County employees is over as the SEIU Local 73 said it has reached a tentative agreement to return to work Tuesday morning.

Tuesday would have been the 19th day of a strike for about 2,500 Cook County employees. The group is made up of mostly administrative staff and custodians as well as lab technicians and social workers

A four-year tentative contract includes an 8.5% percent pay increase over that time, but workers will pay more for health care premiums. Their previous contract expired in December.

"Cook County workers showed real bravery by going out on strike to demand respect from the county. This contract has real wins for workers that they should be proud of as it turns the page on decades of Local 73 members being considered second-class citizens at the county," said Dian Palmer, SEIU Local 73 President. "These are the essential, frontline workers that kept our county running during the worst pandemic of our lifetime who stood up for themselves, their families, and the communities they serve, during this strike to demand better. We're building a fighting union together and we're determined to build a movement -- not just a moment -- for greater access to public healthcare and the overall services for the citizens of Cook County."

The union said the 18-day strike is the longest in its history.