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Cleveland Janitors Increase Wages With New Contract

Contract paves the way for a $15 minimum wage

May 3, 2019

More than 500 Cleveland, OH-area janitors working for companies that contract cleaning services for downtown office buildings unanimously ratified a contract that may increase wages by as much as 25%

Representatives from Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents the janitors, stated the five-year contract calls for janitors to see their wages increase by up to an extra US$16,000 by 2023. According to SEIU, the contract paves the way for a $15 minimum wage in the region, Cleveland Scene reports.

SEIU officials say the wage hike is four times higher than what janitors received in their previous contract, and that the additional wages translate into an extra $13,104 to $16,744 for each downtown janitor over the life of the agreement.

With the push toward $15 minimum wage a driving force among labor unions across the nation, more facility management firms may be negotiating with organized labor. Many firms fear working with organized labor based on erroneous perceptions that unions restrict the firm’s ability to manage its business affairs.

Dan Ringo, president and CEO of an integrated facilities improvement firm, offers several tips facility management firms can take to help them successfully negotiate with labor unions:

  • Hire managers with labor-management experience to run operations.
  • Initiate collaboration with labor unions so engagement between labor and management is inclusive.
  • Be mindful of contract inherited from an ousted incumbent employer.
  • Hold all parties accountable for providing the same value that your business is expected to deliver to clients.

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