The Nutrition Services and Custodial departments in PPS are in a staffing crisis, thanks to longstanding under-funding. Conditions are so poor that workers in both departments are frequently resigning on the spot.
These workers are represented by SEIU Local 503 and have been negotiating with the District for seven months. Despite the District’s decision to hire an anti-union law firm, SEIU has made some big gains in Nutrition Services and they are close to an acceptable wage scale. PPS rejected their recent proposal to bring Custodial wages in line with neighboring districts and so they remain pretty far apart.
In addition to this, a major sticking point is retro pay. The District delayed negotiations for several months. As a result, custodians and nutritionists have been working under an expired contract since July, and PPS has refused the union’s demand to make the settlement retroactive.
Our colleagues have struggled with staffing shortages and overwhelming workloads this entire school year, and now it is time for the District to make it right. SEIU is fighting to make these living-wage jobs again to ensure safe and healthy schools for PPS students.
All PAT members are encouraged to show solidarity with our SEIU sisters and brothers by wearing a sticker in support of a fair contract on Friday December 20th, the day of SEIU’s next bargaining session. You can get stickers from your building rep starting on Thursday. You can also show support by sending messages to the Superintendent and the School Board calling on them to reach a fair settlement with these workers using the following link.