District and Unite Here reach a four-year agreement
The Board of Education on Thursday unanimously ratified a four-year agreement with Unite Here, which represents the food service workers and climate staff at District schools in Philadelphia.
The agreement will run from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2023. It includes a wage increase for the lowest-paid staff, a 3% across-the-board raise in the last year of the pact, and access to health coverage starting in 2020-21 for those who work sufficient hours.
Superintendent William Hite said that members of the local had voted to ratify the agreement on Aug. 13. The board vote came as a “walk-on resolution” – in other words, not presented in advance.
“This is the first meeting after the ratification,” Hite said. He thanked the union and the District negotiating team, which both sides described as respectful.
Union president Nicole Hunt spoke at the meeting. “Our members work hard; we are parents in the schools,” she said. “Sometimes they volunteer their time. We work to make sure our kids are fed and safe. Thanks for voting for it.”
Hite also reiterated that those workers “play a critical role in providing all of our students safe, healthy, and supportive school environments.”
Unite Here represents about 850 food-service workers, 100 early-childhood food-service workers, and 1,000 student-climate staff members.