Twin Cities janitors reach tentative deal for new contract

Following a three-day strike earlier this week, a unionized group of Twin Cities commercial janitors has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

SEIU Local 26, the union representing the workers, announced the deal early Saturday morning, saying it followed a nearly 20-hour bargaining session.

The more than 4,000 janitors, who work at more than 100 buildings across the Twin Cities metro, are expected to vote to approve or deny the agreement next week.

According to the union, the contract would boost janitors’ pay to $20 an hour and include raises of over 17% over the course of the agreement. For the first time, it also features a 401K fully paid by employers and life insurance, and increases sick time and holidays.

“We fought extremely hard and we got the best deal we’ve ever got because we were willing to go out on strike,” Mike Bartos, one of the janitors, said. “We won a retirement plan and higher raises, and we helped expand union rights. We are proud of how hard we fought and are going to be ready to come back in four years to keep winning more of what we deserve.”