State Sen. Robert Peters (D-13th) speaks at Wednesday's press conference in support of SEIU Healthcare Illinois workers. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

SOUTH SHORE — SEIU Healthcare Illinois and the Illinois Association of Health Care Facilities have reached a tentative agreement, the union announced Thursday.

The agreement avoids a strike that would have started Friday at more than 40 Chicagoland senior homes.

The union claims “significant contract gains” on the new, two-year deal including:

  • A $15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers, which is up to a 24 percent increase in base pay
  • $2-an-hour hazard pay for all workers through the coronavirus pandemic
  • Additional paid sick time for coronavirus-related testing, illness or quarantine
  • Provisions ensuring employees won’t have to work without personal protective equipment

“All of the major contract gains will help safeguard the health and safety of workers and the residents for which they care — at a time when both are vulnerable to the risks associated with COVID-19,” SEIU officials said in a statement.

The tentative agreement was “overwhelmingly supported” by the union’s bargaining committee, but must be approved by the entire union.

“We are grateful a walkout was avoided, and that our heroic staff members will continue caring for our vulnerable seniors as we fight this battle together,” association board member and Alden Network CEO Bob Molitor said in a statement.

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