For Immediate Release
YMCA early learning staff, kids, and allies hold candlelight vigil to demand fair bargaining and affordable health care from YMCA of Metro Chicago
Members voted to form a union more than a year ago and are still working without a contract
Chicago, IL: Dozens of parents, teachers, staff, kids, and members of the YMCA community will gather at YMCA of Metro Chicago headquarters tomorrow afternoon in a holiday-themed candlelight vigil to demand good-faith bargaining and a health plan that teachers and staff can afford.
The YMCA’s current plan for individuals costs workers $102.80 per month. On an average salary of just over $23,000 per year, that’s more than most teachers and staff can afford: only a quarter of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s early care and education employees are currently enrolled.
“The YMCA’s health plan is too expensive for people on YMCA salaries,” said Aurora Cavazos, a teacher at the North Lawndale location, who will tell her story at the vigil. “I have to spend hours waiting in line in the emergency room at Stroger when I’m sick. The part-timers don’t even get paid time off—I don’t know how they manage.”
Demonstrators will present YMCA officials with a “naughty” list of YMCA board members and a “nice” list of over 100 Chicagoans who signed a petition demanding fair treatment for workers, sing Christmas carols with adapted lyrics, and pass out information to passersby.
Where: YMCA of Metro Chicago Headquarters, 800 N. Dearborn St.
When: TOMORROW, Thursday, December 19, 4:30 p.m.
Who: More than 30 teachers, staff, parents, kids, and allies of YMCA early learning programs
What: A candlelight vigil to demand affordable health care and good-faith bargaining from management
Visuals: Large foamboard “naughty” and “nice” lists, Christmas carols with adapted lyrics