CPS building engineers reach new 3-year deal with retroactive raises

The union representing Chicago Public Schools building engineers reached a three-year labor agreement with facility management companies contracted by CPS, officials announced Monday.

The agreement between International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399 and Aramark and Sodexo is retroactive to July 1, 2020, and extends through June 30, 2023, CPS said.

Key components in the deal include advanced training opportunities for district engineers and a 3% cost-of-living raise in the first year, followed by 3.25% raises in each of the next two years, CPS said. Engineers will also receive two additional personal days and two more holidays.

"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 Janice Jackson. "We are grateful for their service and glad an agreement has been reached that honors their contributions to CPS schools."

The agreement will affect more than 500 building engineers employed by Aramark and Sodexo, whose contracts with CPS are set to expire later this year.

The engineers are responsible for maintaining school buildings and mechanical systems and have been working in schools throughout the COVID-19 closure, CPS said. They "played an important role" in assessing ventilation systems ahead of the return of students and teachers.

"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," said Vince Winters, Local 399’s Recording Corresponding Secretary.