Teamsters Local 727-represented Brookfield Zoo workers on June 1 overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new five-year contract that preserves union health care benefits for nearly 300 members.
The ratification vote comes after a long, arduous negotiation process with Chicago Zoological Society management, which concluded April 21 following more than six months of bargaining and multiple contract extensions.
“This was a huge challenge, but because our members stood together and stood strong, we were able to secure a fair agreement,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727.
The company will pay for all Health & Welfare increases over the life of the contract. In the first year alone, the health insurance increase is equivalent to a more than 7 percent wage increase for each member.
Additionally, all members will receive a lump sum bonus equivalent to 2 percent of the bargaining unit’s combined wages on Jan. 1, 2017, followed by 2 percent wage increases in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The agreement also preserves Legal & Educational Assistance Benefits and protects members’ rights to use their sick leave without being disciplined.