Philadelphia House Delegation praises tentative agreement between Unite Here Local 634 and the Philadelphia School District
The agreement includes raises and a $500 signing bonus among other provisions
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – Following a tense conflict concerning the Philadelphia School District and city school workers, Unite Here Local 634 announced today that the union reached a preliminary contract agreement Thursday night that would benefit its nearly 2,000 members.
The tentative four-year contract, that includes raises, a $500 signing bonus and basic equipment like walkie-talkies, was arranged two days before the current collective bargaining agreement expires Saturday.
Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, who participated in a rally held earlier this month by the school workers, said this is great news not only for the union but for the whole community as parents and students are also key in the conflict.
“We are pleased to learn this tentative agreement would guarantee raises during the contract period. This is not just an exclusive victory of the union, or the school district, it is also a win for the entire community,” Cephas said.
“The demands of the student climate staff and food service workers are elementary. They need livable wages to offset expenses. Our delegation will continue advancing legislation that would protect worker’s rights as well as promoting and supporting every single resource that would help us amplify the voices of all workers of the commonwealth.”
Members of Unite Here Local 634 who earn about $15.50 an hour, work in crucial positions for the Philadelphia School District, including food services and maintaining order in common areas of the schools such as playgrounds and hallways.
Local 634 President Nicole Hunt indicated that this win is an encouragement to all members of the union.
“They see that the district has now understood that our people mean a lot in the schools. We have been feeding the kids, keeping them safe for so many years. We can no longer be overlooked,” Hunt said.
Delegation Vice Chair Danilo Burgos praised the agreement and said he will keep fighting along with colleagues for workers equity.
“This is another excellent example of what happens when we work together, when we fight for what is right. The power and the beauty in this type of collaboration is remarkable and the results are gratifying,” Burgos said.
Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, expressed similar sentiments and highlighted the impact of fomenting unity. “Organizing works. I’m so proud of the tireless work by Nicole Hunt and the team which
delivered this historic contract,” he said.