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


Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
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 on Thursdays during the regular academic year.