Philly school cafeteria workers get pay raise

School cafeteria workers in Philadelphia ratified a contract extension Monday that includes wage increases and a 3 percent bonus.

The standing agreement between Local 634, School Cafeteria Employees Union UniteHere ,and the School District of Philadelphia wasn’t slated to expire until next September. The extension inked Monday runs through September 2019.

“At the start of 2016, I made securing new and fair labor contracts for all of our unions a priority,” said Philadelphia superintendent William Hite in a statement. “I am proud to announce a ratified agreement with our food service employees and student climate staff.”

Over the life of the new deal, the union’s lowest-paid workers will see hourly wages climb from $11.13 an hour to $12.85.

“This agreement recognizes our members contributions to the education of our children and guarantees wages and economic improvements over the next three years,” said Nicole Hunt, staff organizer for Local 634, in a joint news release with the district.

The new agreement comes amid a flurry of labor activity in the school district. Earlier this month, the union representing blue-collar workers in Philadelphia schools ratified a new agreement. In May, the school district reached a temporary agreement with the union that represents district principals and administrators. The union’s membership, however, rejected the proposal a week-and-a-half ago.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, meanwhile, has been without a contract for nearly three years.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.