Community, News

Custodial staff reaches wage agreement

University custodial workers decided not to go on strike.

They reached a tentative agreement with their employer Debenham, Thouard, and Zadelhoff (DTZ), formerly called Unicco, on Friday. Members voted on Tuesday at St. Bede Episcopal Chapel near UM to make the agreement official.

The final agreement includes a 35-cent wage increase per year for the next three years, according to Eric Brakken, director of 32BJ SEIU, the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union. The previous offer was a ten-cent wage increase.

The janitors were also given an additional personal day per year. They maintain their current health benefits and vacation time.

Janitors were willing to start going on strike Monday, the day after the union’s contract with Unicco expired, if an agreement could not be reached.

“We won economic and noneconomic changes,” Brakken said. “It was about gaining respect on the job.”

Rebecca Garcia, president of Students Toward a New Democracy (STAND), feels that the custodial workers decided what was best for them, but there are challenges that still need to be faced involving workers’ rights.

“If the workers do not will it, then they are not going to engage in it,” she said. “Sometimes some initiatives are not in the best interest of the people, but one must always keep fighting for justice. The strike did not happen, but it does not entail that the fight is over.”

On the other hand, Chartwells workers have not decided on a contract with their employer, Compass Inc. The next bargaining meeting will be on Sept. 17. Employees are preparing a petition and are speaking to co-workers about committing to going on strike, Brakken said.

Tuesday’s agreement also gave custodial workers the right to respect picket lines, which allows Unicco workers to go on strike if Chartwells employees are on strike.

September 4, 2013

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

Part four of a five-part series on UM’s defense with the start of fall camp a month away: Cornerback ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

University of Miami head football coach Mark Richt was among the 20 coaches selected to the preseaso ...

Miami opens the Wooden Legacy against La Salle on Thanksgiving Day in Fullerton, Calif. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.