Chartwells workers secure contract, broken elevator traps disabled students in dorm and tension between CPD and the city over vaccines
and a Portage Park lamp shop recommendation to light up your space as the days get darker.
Hey, everyone! It’s your newsletter team — Claire, Elly, Kate, Grace V., Eiman, Ally, Emily, Grace DV. and Cam. We hope you’re having a great start to your week.
To help lessen the load for you, we’ve compiled a rundown on all the things you want (and need) to know this week. Today, we’ve got a full slate: from an exclusive feature story on the new Chartwells contract to broken elevators barring students with disabilities from leaving their residence hall and continued tensions between CPD and city officials over the vaccine mandate. To top it all off, we’ve got yet another incredible column for you this week from superstar columnist Emily Soto.
So let’s jump right into it!
DePaul Workers Ratify Chartwells Contract
By Elly Boes
On October 19, union representatives from UNITE HERE Local 1 announced their members ratified a new contract with DePaul dining service Chartwells.
According to union press contact Elliot Mallen, workers will have access to full healthcare insurance benefits and an hourly pay increase to $19.88 starting January 1. Their previous minimum wage was $15 an hour.
Student organizations DePaul Community Accountability Alliance (DPUCAA) and Chicago Area Peace Action DePaul (CAPA) co-sponsored a social media action week beginning Monday raising awareness for Chartwells workers.
DPUCAA members previously participated in a button-up event, wearing “I ♡ Campus Workers” pins and meeting over Zoom to discuss the potential strike in late September.
Le’Denise Henderson, Chartwells lead barista for DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, expressed gratitude this weekend for the union’s student advocates.
“We’re elated that we won a huge battle for living wages, more paid sick days, more health insurance coverage and more holidays,” she said. “Thank you to the students for all their support and efforts.”
Local 1 also represents Northwestern University dining workers who ratified their new agreement with Compass Group, Chartwells’ parent company, a day before, on October 18.
After their contract was ratified, Local 1’s complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — alleging unfair labor practices like coercive surveillance — was withdrawn and the case closed by the board’s General Counsel. The complaint was originally filed October 5, after the deadline to renew Compass Group’s contract with Northwestern stalled earlier this month.
This follows nearly two years of organizing for better pay across both campuses and historic gains by unions across the country representing those in the food service industry amid pandemic-related labor shortages.
According to Henderson, who also sits on Local 1’s contract negotiation team, Chartwells’ new agreement will expire in 2024.
By Kate Linderman
Broken Down Centennial Hall Elevator Limits Mobility of Students with Disabilities
From October 7 to October 14, the elevator in the “fully accessible” dorm, Centennial Hall, was out of service, meaning that residents were required to use the stairs to get in and out of their dorms. However, students with disabilities in the dorm in need of elevator access to get outside of the dorm were left trapped. More information about this can be found in the DePaulia.
Fall Quarter COVID-19 Updates from the university
Last week, DePaul’s Community Health Team released DePaul’s community vaccination rates as of October 11. They reported that “99.94 percent of students, 99.68 percent of faculty and 96.9 percent of staff are fully compliant with DePaul's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.” DePaul’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires all students, faculty and staff on campus to be fully vaccinated or obtain a religious or medical exemption, and those that abided by this mandate are considered “fully compliant.”
Weekend Sports Recap
Here is last weekend’s (October 23-24) DePaul sports recap:
Men’s Soccer: tied Butler 0-0 on Saturday
Women’s Soccer: lost to Providence 1-0 on Sunday
Women’s Volleyball: lost to Connecticut 3-0 on Sunday
Men’s Tennis: Vito Tonejc's lost in the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Regional tournament on Sunday
TedxDePaul University Applications are now open
DePaul students, faculty and staff are invited to apply to be a speaker at TedxDePaulUniversity on May 4. The 2022 theme, metamorphosis, “seeks to inspire speakers and audiences to reflect on the process of transformation from one actuality to another.” Those interested in speaking at the event can apply by December 1 at 5:00 p.m. using this Google form.
Latest DePaul News with 14 East
Check out 14 East’s first issue of the quarter, “Uncertainty”, to read more about how DePaul’s professors are handling students who test positive for COVID-19 and an exclusive interview with the creator of DPU Affirmations (@dpuaffirmations).
By Eiman Navaid
Tension Between CPD and City Officials Over Vaccine Mandate — Tension regarding the city’s vaccine mandate for employees rises as Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara urges aldermen to stand up to Mayor Lightfoot and overrule the mandate. Catanzara has been publicly calling for a repeal within the past few weeks by calling out the mayor and city officials. John Byrne, Gregory Pratt and Jade Yan of the Tribune.
Storms in the Chicago area — The weekend saw a series of heavy storms in the city, headed into Monday as well, leaving thousands without power and hundreds of flights cancelled. Sylvia Goodman and Lauren Zumbach of the Tribune reports.
Mayor Lightfoot’s 2022 Budget Update — The mayor’s 2022 budget is ready for approval from the City Council this week following endorsements from progressive city officials. Justin Laurence of Block Club Chicago has the details.
Victim of Chicago Serial Killer Identified — With genealogy information, Cook County investigators were able to identify Francis Wayne Alexander, a victim of John Wayne Gacy, the infamous Chicago serial killer who confessed to the murder of dozens of young men and boys. Alexander’s identification leaves five victims unidentified. William Lee of the Tribune.
CTA to Keep Prices Low Through Next Year — The CTA plans to keep its lower prices instated from the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the next year, in hopes of getting people back on public transportation. Sara Badilini of Block Club Chicago has the details.
By Ally Daskalopoulos
Actor Alec Baldwin Shoots Two People on Set — Over the weekend, details of the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico have been continuously updated. On Thursday, actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The gun utilized by Baldwin was supposed to be a “cold gun” with no ammunition indicating it was safe for use on the set. According to recent developments, the film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, was supposed to be the person who checks the guns prior to filming. No one has been charged in the incident. Simon Romero, Julia Jacobs and Graham Bowley of the New York Times report updates.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to Require Vaccinated Athletes — The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will require nearly all participants to be vaccinated or participate in a 21-day quarantine, which will ruin their chances of competing. These regulations are stricter compared to the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. Some rules include increased isolation from the public as well as direct flights to Beijing, However, each country is able to adhere to their own definitions of being “fully vaccinated” allowing for some leeway. Medical and religious exemptions will be considered per the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee as well as the Canadian Olympic Committee. Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal has the story.
Biden’s Increasingly Low Approval Rating — A recent Gallup poll details that President Biden’s approval rating has fallen to 42%, indicating the lowest rate of his term thus far, and the second lowest of any president in U.S. history at this moment in their presidency over the last five decades. While Biden’s numbers have been continually falling, back in June a majority of the country (56%) approved of the work of the administration. The reasoning for the drop is revealed in the disastrous exit from Afghanistan as well as increased COVID-19 cases and supply chain issues. Chris Cillizza of CNN has the analysis here.
The Loss of a “Friend” — James Michael Tyler, better known as Gunther on the TV sitcom, “Friends” has died at 59. According to Tyler’s manager, Toni Benson, the actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. Often considered “the seventh friend” appearing in 150 episodes, Tyler was best known as having a major crush on Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Green. Vimal Patel and Jesus Jiménez of the New York Times tell the full story.
Hey, Check This Out!
With Featured Columnist Emily Soto
Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s recommendations!
As we near the end of October and the days slowly become shorter, one thing that I begin to miss during this time is the natural sunshine and light. So finding fun ways to bring more light to the night is one thing I like to do in my efforts to combat this feeling. As I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, I want to recommend a cool store which can bring that light back into your space. It's called Al-Bazzar (Home Line Decoration).
I was just introduced to the small, family run business which is on North Cicero Avenue in Portage Park. They sell these beautiful, handmade Turkish lamps that come in a wide variety of designs and patterns. Depending on what you pick, you can add anything from a fiery red warmth to an earthy green glow to your space. And if you’re looking for a new piece to decorate a room, you can also find vases or rugs which are imported from Turkey. Every piece in the store is unique and the prices are the best you can find.
During my trip to the store, I found a small, soft pink lamp that will sit on my desk. I think it will help me stay calm during those crazy nights when I’m trying to meet yet another work deadline. And when it comes to your space, Al-Bazzar just might have whatever you need to bring in the right light.
That’s all for this week’s rec. Thanks for following along, and I hope you come back next week!
The Illinois Housing Development Authority periodically offers rental payment programs which send vouchers directly to landlords to subsidize rent costs. The program is currently closed to new applicants. However, housing stability service providers are offered year-round. Check out the resources here.
The city of Chicago’s Rental Assistance Program provides funding for Chicagoans who are at risk of becoming homeless.
Rentervention is a legal-aid bot that can answer questions, draft letters and explain tenant rights. See how it can help you here.
Cook County also provides rental assistance for renters. See if you qualify and for how much here.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources
All of these testing sites and vaccination sites can be accessed for free and without insurance.
Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 viral and antibody testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly. The organization also offers the Moderna vaccine for individuals 18 and older. You can check all of their current COVID-19 resources here.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and the city of Chicago offer free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here. IDPH also offers COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 12 years and older. Call 833-621-1284 to schedule an appointment.
The city of Chicago partnered with the Community Organized Relief Effort to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here.
The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here.
Know someone 12 years of age or older who has yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine? Check out appointments via Zocdoc, the city of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder or pharmacy websites such as Walgreens and CVS.
Mental Health Resources
At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.
This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist directories and other online resources.
The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQ+ people.
Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.
This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. The master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links.
This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.
The Trans Lifeline’s peer support hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.
The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call 312-263-4368, ext. 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered).
That’s all from us! We hope to see you back here next week for more news, updates and recommendations.
The 14 East Newsletter Team