SEIU members in Chicago reached a tentative deal with Chicago Public Schools Sunday night, but the union’s bargaining team is still reviewing the contract before announcing the official end of the eight day strike. SEIU members consist of the support staff of Chicago’s schools – bus aids, custodians, security guards, etc. The terms of the tentative agreement have not been publicly released. While the agreement may represent a victory for support staff, classes will not commence until CPS also reaches an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union. For prior OnLabor coverage of the strike, see Alisha’s post from last week Friday.
On Friday, more than 90% of Harvard graduate student union voters approved a strike authorization. This strike authorization arrives more than a year after students voted to unionize under Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Automobile Workers. The union vote far surpassed UAW’s requirement for a two-thirds majority and held a turnout of close to 2,700 members. The union is in its second year of contract negotiation with Harvard University’s administration. The two sides have reached agreement on some the contract provisions, yet several matters, including harassment and discrimination complaint procedures, remain unresolved.
Testimony in favor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act reached the House of Representatives last week. The U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Civil Rights and the Human Services Subcommittee heard from an EMT who filed to appeal her case of workplace discrimination in the Eleventh Circuit. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act protects the labor rights of pregnant workers.