Service Employees International Union Local 1 on Tuesday announced approval of a new four-year contract that includes pay raises for more than 900 janitors in the Kansas City area.
The union said members overwhelmingly ratified the four-year agreement with cleaning contractors.
The contract guarantees annual raises and puts janitors on a path toward a wage of $15 an hour, the union said in a statement.
“When we first went to the bargaining table, contractors offered us a 15-cent raise,” union bargaining team member Sandy Hinson said in the statement. “Our work is worth more than 15 cents, so we fought hard for a better deal. In the end we won a contract that gives us nearly double the raises contractors offered us in the first place.”
A representative for the cleaning contractors could not be reached for comment.
The contract announced Tuesday does not guarantee $15 an hour, but it shifts wages upward for members and puts the union in a better position to negotiate toward that goal, said Nick Desideri, a spokesman for the SEIU.
Under the contract, janitors will see annual raises of 25 cents an hour for the next two years and 30 cents an hour for two years after that.
The union said the new agreement will put an additional $5,512 in the pockets of full-time janitors and $2,650 for part-time janitors over the life of the contract.
The median pay for these janitors is $9.25 an hour.
SEIU Local 1 unites nearly 4,000 workers in Kansas City, including school cafeteria workers and commercial janitors. According to the union, the average janitor in the Kansas City area makes $1,295 a month — below the poverty line for families of two or more.
Steve Rosen: 816-234-4879