"I can confirm that the strike is over. A partial tentative agreement was reached with two wage issues going into interest arbitration," a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union said in an email.
“Cook County workers showed real bravery by going out on strike to demand respect from the county. This contract has real wins for workers that they should be proud of as it turns the page on decades of Local 73 members being considered second-class citizens at the county,” SEIU Local 73 President Dian Palmer said in a press release. “These are the essential, frontline workers that kept our county running during the worst pandemic of our lifetime who stood up for themselves, their families, and the communities they serve, during this strike to demand better. We’re building a fighting union together and we’re determined to build a movement—not just a moment—for greater access to public health care and the overall services for the citizens of Cook County.”
Cook County did not immediately return a request for comment this morning.
The workers went on strike June 25 over wages and an increase in health care insurance contributions. The strike was the longest in SEIU Local 73's history, the local said.
While Cook County reached deals with other unions, which a confidential county board memo obtained by Crain's said were in line its offer to SEIU workers, Local 73 rejected that offer and a subsequent offer it said did not measure up to what other unions were receiving.
"This strike did not have to happen if the County would have treated SEIU members the same as those in other Unions," said SEIU communications director Eric Bailey. "SEIU members do not deserve one penny less than other County employees in these negotiations."
Registered nurses had staged a one-day strike June 24, but the about 1,500 National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United members approved a four-year pact that representatives say raises wages and addresses staffing shortages. The county also settled with employees belonging to AFSCME and Sheriff's corrections officers in Teamsters Local 700.