Courtesy of CLN Member Jeremy DaCruz
In February 2023, the Lawrence Cafeteria Workers (SEIU Local 3) went public with their demand that the School District extend a stipend which Lunch Aides at the smaller City of Lawrence Public Schools negotiated to Cafeteria Workers. This stipend was paid out for maintaining ServSafe Certification while working for the School District. Given that the Cafeteria Workers and the Lunch Aids do essentially the same work and must maintain the same certification, the Cafeteria Workers argued that fairness demanded that they be paid the same stipend.
To that end, SEIU Local 3 members circulated a petition, hand delivered it to the School District, staged a press conference in front of the School District, and called on community allies to demand that the Cafeteria Workers be paid the same stipend.
Finally, on June 23, 2023, the School District will pay the Lawrence Cafeteria Workers a one-time stipend of $5,500 for maintaining their ServSafe certification for School Year 2022-2023. This stipend will help the Cafeteria Workers get through the summer months when the Lawrence Public Schools are partially closed. While this is not the recurring stipend that SEIU Local 3 fought for, it is meaningful concession that the Cafeteria Workers secured after a months-long fight!