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CPS Announces New Three-Year Labor Agreement for Local 399 School Building Engineers

25 January 2021

Agreement with IUOE Local 399, Whose Members Maintained School Buildings Throughout the Closure, Ensures Continued Facilities Support Throughout the City

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
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CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 399 today announced a new three-year labor agreement between the Union and CPS’s facility management companies that ensures stable, high-quality support for district facilities and offers additional professional learning opportunities and benefit increases for engineers. Local 399 engineers are among the staff members who have been working in schools throughout the COVID-19 closure, and their essential work has been instrumental in the effort to safely reopen school buildings this year. CPS was instrumental in brokering the deal between the Union and the management companies.

“CPS engineers play a crucial role in our district, ensuring students have safe, warm school buildings that allow them to access the high-quality education they deserve,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Our building engineers have been in schools throughout the entire closure to ensure we could provide free, nutritious meals to our families and prepare for the safe return of students. We are grateful for their service and glad an agreement has been reached that honors their contributions to CPS schools.”

The agreement with Local 399 is retroactive to July 1, 2020, and extends through June 30, 2023. More than 500 building engineers, who are employed by district contractors Aramark and Sodexo — are responsible for maintaining school buildings and ensuring the proper functioning of mechanical systems. District engineers played an important role in the comprehensive ventilation assessments conducted prior to the return of teachers and students, and they have supported improvements made as part of the district’s $70 million investment in ventilation systems.

“The engineers of Local 399 are honored to support the students and staff of Chicago Public schools, and we are pleased to have reached a new three-year agreement that promotes professional learning, includes wage and benefit adjustments, and ensures our continued support for Chicago schools,” said Vince Winters, Local 399’s Recording Corresponding Secretary. “Our dedicated staff has worked tirelessly throughout the entire closure period to ensure schools were ready to safely reopen, and we are proud to support the unprecedented effort to open classrooms this year.”

The three-year agreement reached with Local 399 includes a number of new provisions that recognize the commitments of district engineers in a manner that is financially responsible for the district. Key components include:

  • Advanced Training Opportunities: To ensure district engineers have the training needed to ensure CPS schools are safe and properly maintained, the agreement supports additional professional learning opportunities offered through Local 399, the Aramark Facilities Center of Excellence, and Triton College’s Facilities Engineering Technology A.A.S.
  • Cost of Living Adjustments: To ensure engineers are appropriately compensated for their service to the district, engineers will receive the following salary increases over the course of the agreement:
    • FY21 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021): 3 percent wage increase
    • FY22 (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022): 3.25 percent wage increase
    • FY23 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023): 3.25 percent wage increase
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, engineers will receive two additional personal days and two additional holidays.   

Chicago Public Schools serves 341,000 students in 638 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.