FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Josh Levitt, firstname.lastname@example.org; 845-641-3654
In New Advertisements, Cook County Correctional Officers Demand Toni Preckwinkle Provide Them With Hazard Pay During COVID-19 Pandemic
Cook County Jail is Ground Zero for COVID-19 Cases in Illinois, yet Preckwinkle and Cook County Board of Commissioners Refuse to Provide Hazard Pay to Essential Correctional Officers;
Advertisements in Chicago Sun-Times, Facebook and Mobile Billboards Tell Chicagoans How Toni Preckwinkle and Elected Leaders are Failing to Protect Community and Fairly Compensate Frontline COs;
CHICAGO – Teamsters Local 700, representing approximately 2,500 Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) correctional officers, today started running advertisements demanding Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners provide officers with hazard pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as one out of every six COVID-19 cases in Illinois can be traced back to the Cook County Jail, Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners have refused to provide hazard pay to frontline correctional officers, who have been risking their lives every day to keep their communities safe.
On Thursday, August 27, Cook County correctional officers ran a full page advertisement in the Chicago Sun Times newspaper exclaiming “Tell Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to Stop Spreading COVID-19!” Throughout the day, Teamsters Local 700 will have four mobile billboards stating “1 in 6 COVID-19 Cases in Illinois Started in the Cook County Jail: Call Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Tell Her to Protect Those Who Protect Us” travelling through the Cook County Department of Corrections, City Hall and other neighborhoods in the city. Digital advertisements will also be featured on Facebook and the Chicago Sun-Times website.
“Cook County correctional officers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic working every day to keep our communities safe, yet Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners are failing to keep officers safe or provide them with hazard pay that they have earned ,” said Ramon Williams, President of Teamsters Local 700. “We are calling on all Chicagoans to tell Toni Preckwinkle that all essential correctional officers must be compensated fairly for their service and be kept safe on the job.”
“If correctional officers’ safety is compromised, it puts the health of everyone in our county at risk. We are outraged that Toni Preckwinkle is refusing to do what’s right and provide hazard pay for all Cook County correctional officers, who have been putting their lives on the line during this pandemic,” said Anthony McGee, Vice President of Teamsters Local 700. “Our members did their jobs despite constant outbreaks of COVID-19 in the jail compound, and now it’s time for Toni Preckwinkle to honor their service and provide officers with hazard pay.”
The Cook County Jail has caused more spread of COVID-19 than any other location in the country. More than 500 correctional officers and jail workers have contracted COVID-19, and four workers have tragically died.