SEIU announces deal with Chicago Park District

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The SEIU Local 73 union announced Wednesday that they have reached a deal with the Chicago Park District to avert a strike.

The union's bargaining team unanimously approved the deal Tuesday night, SEIU Local 73 Executive Vice President Jeffrey Howard said.

"We came to the negotiations with the goal of getting economic justice and pay equity for our park employees and that's exactly what we did," Howard said. "With the help of our 2,500 members in our parks, through daily visits, talks, coming together in solidarity, we achieved what we think is a great victory."

The agreement means the Chicago Park District will have staff to run its facilities as Chicago Public Schools have canceled class Thursday with teachers set to go on strike.

"We stand united with the teachers and public-school staff who are taking action to fight for the good jobs our communities need," SEIU Local 73 said in a statement Wednesday.

The union represents landscape laborers, special recreation workers, attendants, instructors, recreational leaders and others. Union officials said they've been without a contract since December 31, 2018.

SEIU Local 73 said Park District workers plan to support Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff at the picket lines Thursday morning. The union said it'll also set up "solidarity camps" at parks, should parents leave their kids in the area while schools are closed.

Chicago Park District workers represented by the union will now need to ratify the deal.
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